Beachy Afternoon

Salt Air and salt water both have curative properties.

The moving prep has gotten to me, so Best Dude and I took to the beach after Mass on Sunday. I had not been to the beach since before my surgery.  Per my surgeon’s instructions I did not go swimming until he gave me the go-ahead at the first post-op appointment. The weather has been rainy, so Sunday was the first day that we managed to get out and enjoy the gorgeous Florida Gulf Coast.

We left immediately after Mass and crossed the bridge to the beach. After enjoying a yummy seafood lunch{ shrimp, French fries, and Hush Puppies} at one of the eateries on the tiny boardwalk, we drove west on the island.

Our favorite beach hangout is located at the westernmost tip of a 50 mile barrier island. The place we frequent is a restored Civil War fort which now belongs to the US National Park System.  Usually we do not go to Fort Pickens during weekends { crowds} but Sunday had been the only day which both our schedule and the weather co-operated.

After 6 weeks of NO beach or swimming time I told Best Dude that I just had to get into the water. Quickly I removed my sandals and handed him my wallet. { Shorts and shirt were left in the truck, as to get the most out of my bathing suit}

The water felt so good.  I did not realize how much I missed swimming until I started carefully moving my arms in a dog-paddle { taking it slowly, as not to mess up my neck} The weightlessness I felt in the water immediately lightened my mental/spiritual ‘load’. The smell of the salt air invigorated my senses and relaxed me further. I splashed around and got wet up to my chin; there wasn’t much of a current so I felt safe.

As I grow in faith and life, I realize the importance of self-care. When I am depleted of any sort of energy, I am not fit to serve others. I need to fit into my schedule some ” Sabbath days”, when I take care of my own spiritual/emotional needs.

God needs us at our best; and I am slowly learning that being my best requires ” chill time”. An unexpected blessing that came from this surgery and post-operative recovery is that I learned to slow down. If Jesus Himself took time out to rest; then we should do the same.





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