a few weekends ago, in passing, i mentioned to my friend that i’ve always wanted to sleep on the beach. you know, under the stars, with the sound of the waves crashing in the background. it sounds like it would be amazing. quickly she suggested, “let’s do it. tomorrow.”
so began the fastest camping preparation process you have ever seen in your life. a few hours before heading to black’s beach in san diego, we made a stop at the grocery store to buy food, lighter fluid, flashlights, and wood, among other things. there were 5 of us dedicated to staying over night, and looking back on it, any one of us could have thrown up a red flag and swept in with the endless list of reasons why this idea wasn’t going to work. our plan was so fragile that just a little bit of common sense might have swayed us. however, i must say i was pretty impressed with the blind dedication of all involved.
for me this experience was well overdue. back as far as i can remember my mother made it very clear that i was never to do adventurous activities in nature. now, might i add, to her, an ‘adventurous activity in nature’ also included holding the neighbors cat. the day she caught me in that act she forced me to strip down in the garage, hosed me down and sent me straight up to the shower. additionally, she was also deathly afraid of ticks. she had been bitten by one in the past and now believed them to be everywhere. literally. once, at the age of 7 or 8, while playing at a friends house my mom spotted a black spot on my neck and was CONVINCED that it was a tick. she implored me not to touch it, called my father and rushed me to the doctor’s office at 1:00 am. after the doctor explained to me that he could either burn or freeze the tick off, he suggested that he might try to just pull it off with tweezers. now, imagine - my parents hovering over me while i’m becoming increasingly more terrified of the prospect that a bug is about to come out of my neck, the doctor latches on to the black spot and as he pulls it, it stretches out like a pink string, snapping as it gets longer. it turns out, it was not a tick at all, it was gum. -______-
so, as you can see, when it comes to nature, i have led a pretty sheltered lifestyle. i’d always wanted to be outdoorsy, it just wasn’t in the cards. but this, THIS was my chance to play catch up. yet, as you have probably guessed by now, i was a little scared. and as it started to get darker and there was not a sole in sight on the beach i became even more scared. it also didn’t help that a few drunken wanderers approached our camp at one point and loitered around creating unnecessary anxiety. nevertheless, around midnight my night vision began to kick in and so did my courage.
it sounds silly, but in the morning, i felt like a stronger person. one of us mentioned that this experience could be the plot for an indie ‘coming-of-age’ film with a profound life lesson to be learned. i believe the lesson of our story is one i seem to find more and more awe-inspiring every time i experience it: any idea, with unwavering support, by just a few people, can be brought to fruition. furthermore, the best things in life require that you break the rules, face your fears and channel your youthful, stubborn, seize-the-day mentality.
i will be forever changed and this night will be forever illuminated…
(photo credit to M.Conway)