Off the grid, I said, I've lost my marbles, I told them. I had worked night side, day-side, back-side, flip-side. I'd had enough and I was going nuts, even my friend Claudia said so only a day before. Couldn't sleep, had to go, I agreed.
So in the wee hours the morning light, I packed a bag, jumped in the jeep and drove away to a place I'd never been because, well, frankly, I have a habit of doing that.
Talk radio, CD's and 4 hours of crisp night air, I was on my way and wide awake. The crescent moon shown bright on a cloudless night and a single star hung over it, incredible, I thought. The clear skies made way for my eyes to adjust and I could make out the shadow of the full moon.The artistry was magnificent. As I neared my destination and sunrise began to peak - strips of clouds dripped blood red below the crescent moon and its star. It was a strange sight, and yet an affirmation of sorts, a moment. The harsh beauty of it made it the most quiet moment of the drive.
Closer to my off ramp, the sky's painting faded to blue, white and hints of pink just beyond the horizon. It was morning, I was hungry and I could already smell the sea salt in the air.
I spotted a place, only a block from the sand. The sign said, "World's Famous Breakfast Club," and it was packed. Maybe it was because it was the only place open or maybe, as I found out, they had great food with fresh ingredients. I sat at the diner's counter next to two ladies - middle aged women, friends who said they visited there (the Island) once a year - which was odd considering one of them lived on the other side of the bridge and the other closer than my four hour drive. We swapped stories about where we were from and what we did. The ladies even explained that the reason the diner was so famous, was because the owner catered John F. Kennedy Junior's wedding. Immediately I thought, Jr? Not JFK himself? That's famous? It felt like an over-dramatized stake-out...like Elaine using Jerry's apartment hoping to catch Jr for a limo ride after working out behind him in her aerobics class. But the ladies were impressed, so politely, I offered the "smile and nod."
After I stuffed myself with eggs and veggies, I sauntered off down the road to the beach, dug my toes in the warm sand at 8.30 in the morning and looked for a place to sit and soak up the morning sun. The surf rental shop wouldn't be open for another hour and half or so and I was ok with a little time to kill.
I found a wooden swing on the back end of the beach near the pier. I used my towel to pad my back, put my hands behind my head and closed my eyes behind my shades. No one was around, just yet, and the sound of the waves were soft. The sea held the perfect sounds for a morning nap after a fine breakfast a long drive.
By the time I was ready to hit the shops and look for a board to rent, the beach was getting busier and families were coming out. I popped down the street and visited a few stores until I found a Waves that rented inexpensively and loaded up a board into the jeep. Back to the beach, but of course by then the parking was a atrocious and I ended up parking 4 blocks away. No matter, I hooked a key to my bathing suit and left the wetsuit behind, because this is the east coast and the waves are like bathwater. While the waves were a bit too mushy, making the sufing a bit more difficult, and on top of the fact that I'm just not that good at it yet, it still didn't take away my experience of being swallowed up by this massive beautiful thing - a powerful form of nature to remind me of my humble position in the universe, and yet still Created to be a limitless contribution. The emotion was peaceful, the forward motion was steady, even if it wasn't entirely confident. For this, I was grateful.
Two hours or so went by, I headed back to the car and ate my strawberries while I rested. After I wrapped up the surf pile hanging out of my car, I threw on a tank top and shorts and went hunting for a place to have a little lunch. I found a deck-top bar at the end of the shops along the beach strip and was seated in the corner on the top deck - looking perfectly over the ocean through the palm trees. A little blues guitar, a few spring rolls, a beer and the hipster next to me smoking "Naturals," - I couldn't help but smirk and think how perfect the day had turned out. I need more of these, I thought. Maintain sanity, that's the only way to see all it through.
I headed back in perfect harmony with the world. I had made sense of just what to do next. And my tan was getting darker. Ah yes, good day. Hadn't answered a single phone call and well, found my mind. Off the grid...yeh, it worked.