Monday, June 30, 2014

Falling in Love... and Get Ready for July!

Lest the title of this blog post confuse you, this doesn't have anything to do with my and Paul's 26th wedding anniversary on July 2 (well, okay, maybe it does.)

"Falling in love" is a curious phrase. What does it mean, exactly? Literally, it means that love is something like a swimming pool or ocean or deep canyon and one is falling into it. Not exactly something one is doing intentionally, either... you could say "I jumped into love" or "I dived head-first into love". No, "falling in love" sounds like an accident; you were just walking along, minding your own, when you just fell into love (which, apparently, was also conveniently right there as well.) While it's true that some human relationships occur just like that, it's also possible to "fall in love" with other things. You might be aware of a thing or place, heard about it, maybe even seen pictures of it, but when you are suddenly confronted with it, live and in-person (so to speak) you suddenly find yourself falling in love. And that is what happened to me, this past February, when my husband and son and I visited Monterey, California. I'd heard of it, knew where it was, that it had an interesting history, and, oh yes, it was right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

I had never seen the Pacific Ocean. I'd been to California (1985, senior trip, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm. THAT California), but never to the coast. And I had seen an ocean: the Atlantic, first from the East Coast when we visited Paul's family when we were still newlyweds, then in 2012 when we embarked on a Caribbean cruise and we sailed on endless stretches of ocean from Key West, Florida to Cozumel, Mexico. So large bodies of water were not exactly new to me... and they didn't particularly impress me. Then while we were in Monterey, we took a drive to Carmel-by-the-Sea. The shops, the houses, everything was charming and a delight to see. Then we went to the beach....

And I fell in love. Head over heels.
Never mind that I can't swim. Never mind that the weather was cold and overcast. It wasn't even so much that I was impressed (after all, it was just the bay; I couldn't really see vast expanses of empty ocean.) No, something about the power and beauty of the waves rolling up onto the beach, listening to the roar, watching the water roll over onto itself and dissolve on the shore, moved me in a way I'd rarely been moved before. I could have sat on the beach all day just watching the waves and been perfectly content. Even in the rain.
The last time I felt that kind of "falling in love" feeling was when I visited Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time, over 20 years ago. Standing in the midst of the Colorado Rockies, feeling so small and insignificant and yet so privileged to be there, was the same feeling I got standing on the California coast. That feeling of being perfectly content and at peace.
Is that what love really is? You think it's all passion and excitement and then--surprise--it's about being content and at peace when it seems that everything around you is bigger and stronger.
I was privileged to share these encounters--these "falling in love" moments--with the two guys I love most in the world.
Hey, I said our anniversary is Wednesday!
And our son also "fell", too!
So I hope and pray that life will give us another opportunity to visit the places I've come to love so much. And until then, well, I have memories to give me the peace and contentment I found there.
Okay, now about getting ready for July... The Back Deck Blog Blitz!
During the month of July, every Wednesday and Friday, I will be presenting a fellow author from my publishing house, Oak Tree Press. They will tell you about themselves, their books, their stories about their path to publication, and give some writing advice. You'll get to meet them and hopefully find some more wonderful authors whose books you'll enjoy!  I hope you enjoy meeting my colleagues and friends and getting to know them!


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