I have decided to take it back a notch, just to relax, just to think about a place, or wait no, just to think about a trip I took a while back. I stayed at a small beat up motel one block from the beach down in Ft. Lauderdale.
I am not thinking about the reason for my trip or the actual aspects of the trip itself.
No, I’m thinking about the beach and the white sand, the hot sun on my face, the palm trees and the smell of the ocean. I am thinking about the sunrise walks I took along the shore and the colors that spread out across the horizon. It’s amazing, isn’t it? it amazes me that beauty exists even in troubled times, if we look for it, that is.
I am thinking about smooth music in the background and gentle offshore breeze that comes in to cool the skin.
The water is incredibly blue— and people smile. People say things like hello with no other intention, other than to be kind and greet one another. There’s no pressure in this idea. None at all. There’s just me and my connection to a time and place. There is only my vision, which I use when times call for something better to see.
I remember this trip well. The room I stayed in was small and outdated. The flooring was not the prettiest. In fact, the flooring was a cheap and rubberized version of hardwood flooring, which had bunched up and bubbled in a few spots. the little air conditioner in the wall was loud but oddly, I didn’t mind this. The air conditioner sounded like the one in my childhood bedroom, which I saw as fitting for the moment. Otherwise, the place was in poor shape. The pink bathroom tiles on the floor and the powdered blue tiles on the wall, along with the rest of the décor were the same as they were when the motel was built. This had to be somewhere around the early 80’s I suppose.
I was here with my laptop, which was far from good but it was good enough to take notes and write down my thoughts as they came to me.and by now, you know me well enough to know this is as important to me as breathing.
I was on the outskirts of the popular section and a block away from the ritzier part of town where the usual tourists go. I was a half block from the beach on Seville. at nighttime, I could hear some of the homelss as they took to the beach and drank from cheap bottle underneath the moon. And yes, they were drunk and they were homeless, but there was something poetic about this to me. There was something beautiful too. And there was something interesting about the dichotomy or the division or subdivision of life on life’s terms. One side was gifted and wealthy. The other side was the opposite or opposed, which is open to interpretation (of course.)
The Boulevard is where the nightlife was, which I stayed away from but not totally. I did not have the time or the heart for the upbeat crowd and the nightlife scenarios. Besides, that’s not what I was there for.
However, I did my share of evening walks along the beach. I ate my dinners at the curbside restaurants and watched the daylight slip away to evening.
I want to walk here now and head south on the beach. I want to feel the warm sand beneath my toes and the hot sun on my face. I want to feel the wind in my hair and smell the salty air. If I could go anywhere, right now, this would be the place.
The reason is because although the time was tough and the reason for my trip was intense, —at least I had the beach to keep me company.
I went here when Mom was dying. I knew it was only a matter of time. I knew there was nothing I could do or say to change this fact. Life is what life is —but still, at least I had my walks on the beach to settle my heart.
I want that now. (You know?)
I want to watch the sun come up. I made sure to do this every morning when I was there. And later on, I made sure to watch the sunset, which, to be honest was nothing short of miraculous.
I had a few good meals while I was there too. Steak and eggs at the H2O Café wasn’t a bad way to start the day.
I made sure to have my coffee. I had some juice too, maybe some papaya. Of course, I had some hot sauce for my steak and eggs, and the view,; well, the view was the Atlantic Ocean.
I sat across from the beach and watched some of the ships pass by in the distant shipping lane. I even saw the USS New York, the ship our Navy built from the steel that came from the Twin Towers.
You remember them, don’t you?
I tell you the ship was beautiful. It was all beautiful; the land, the air, the sea. And although my time was tough and my heart was heavy—at least I had this to look at,
I heard a song this morning, which I will embed here for your listening pleasure.
I suppose I could be somewhere now, maybe, say like a place I have never been to before but always wondered about.
Maybe Cuba would be a good place. Maybe I’d choose Cuba because the name sounds pretty to me—and from what I hear, the beaches are beautiful with names like Varadero, or Los Flamencos, or maybe I could go to someplace, like say, Cayo Largo or Cayo Coco. Maybe I could create a new vision here, one that would soothe me in a time of need.
I’ve never been to Old Havana, but I’d like to go. I heard a song about this place —well, not exactly, but the song reminded me of the video I once saw, which is the same music as I’ve posted for you.
Sorry to say, the video is not the same as the one I saw a while back. I can’t seem to find it. Either way, the music played and the video showed the beaches and the land. This was Cuba. It looked beautiful. And I wonder. I wonder of this place looks as beautiful as it seemed to me, the beaches, the pictures of the old cars, kept and restored to perfect condition, and the ocean. I wonder.
Looking around now, the leaves on all my new York trees are fallen. The beaches are temporarily vacant and absent of warmth —but ah, these dreams of mine and the ideas I have, to me, they are enough to help create a vision.
And a vision is good to have because this helps me see that nothing lasts forever and tough times will change.
There are times when there is nowhere to go and no place to turn. In times like this, all one can do is sit tight and let the minute move to the next.
When things seem too hard and life just didn’t pan out so well; when all the chips are down and the pockets are empty, or when the pain hits and the sadness begins —all you can do is sit tight and let one minute turn into the next.
I think that although the sentiment may sound heavy—undoubtedly to me, the idea sounds beautiful, hopeful, and redeeming to say the least
I write this now in the quietness of my home with the sun coming up over my side of the mountain. The fog mixes in with the empty tree branches and somehow fits the mood.
The sky is gray and the clouds are low. Most of my town is still sleeping, perhaps but me, I’ve been up for a while, since 4:00am actually, thinking, reading, looking and listening for a sign, or better yet, I was listening for a song, which I found, which I’ve shared with you, my dearest, closest, and most personal friend.
I mention this because life happens. And disappointment is part of life. There is no escape from this. Sadness comes just like rainstorms do, but eventually, they pass through, —and the fact remains that no storm will last forever—and neither will this one.
Just like life happened when I was eating huevos rancheros for breakfast on the beach on Ft. Lauderdale; my Mom was sick, and I was sad, but at least I had the view of the beach to help my soul.
Life is happening to me now but at least I have my vision.
At least I have my dream.
But more importantly, at least I have you. And I really love you.
Did you know that?