i’m in the location i wished to be last year on my birthday. i’m happy to be here, but it isn’t the same place i wished for last year because that place doesn’t exist anymore since everything changes all the time and provincetown isn’t what it used to be. the ocean is still here. the long-armed beach is still here. the colorful rocks that become tiny round bits of sand that make up the beach are still here. the pine trees that line the hiking trails and provide the soft cushion of pine needles are still here. but my younger self that sang to the ocean with my best friend many years ago isn’t here or anywhere. my younger self is gone. i looked for her in the cemetery this morning, just checking, because if she were hiding, she’d likely hide in a cemetery. i found a statue resembling her head and shoulders sticking out of the ground at the darkest sloping edge of the cemetery. i laid on the ground, put my head and shoulders next to the statue’s head and shoulders, and snapped a photo to see if one of us would come alive. the statue remained stony and immovable. my neck started to cramp. i stood up and walked away.
i walked for hours and miles. i walked to the ocean, across green acres of pine trees, to the bay side of the cape’s crooked wrist and curled finger, and back again to the ocean side. i thought about everything from the past and into the future and listened to the trees and asked questions without answers until i got too hungry to walk any longer or farther.
i ate a reese’s peanut butter cup and a banana. i drank generic diet dr. thunder from a two-liter bottle and then walked some more but i quit asking questions without answers, i quit thinking about the past or future, i quit everything except breathing and walking and looking at the sunlight between pine needles reaching high into the sky and suddenly i didn’t care that my younger self is gone and that provincetown has changed into someplace that doesn’t resonate with what i once loved most about this beachtown. today i have hours and miles to walk shaded trails between an ocean and a bay. today i am a lucky little halfling in oversized white sunglasses and a dark green floppy hat who gets to do exactly what i love best and i am more grateful for every moment of peace and presence than my younger self knew how to be.
maybe one day i’ll be timeless. until then i’ll use my hours, days, and years to make more love, practice more grace, and give more thanks.
happy my birthday week to you. thank you for you. thank you for your aliveness and everything you do to feel more alive.