There is thunder, but no rain. It's still early, but because I wait for the thunder to pass, we start our walk later than usual. And that means we meet, at Great Rock Bight, the woman with the unleashed black dog with a bright green tennis ball clutched in her mouth at the water's edge who does not want to play with Charlie. Or, if she does want to play with Charlie, her human assumes she doesn't. Charlie does not understand, and neither do I, why the black dog has a green ball she won't share; but I see that the human has brought her dog to this remote beach for a private play session. She wants to throw her ball to her dog and have her dog swim for it, retrieve it, and do it all again in the presence of Charlie and Suzi, who have no green ball of their own, and she wants them to leave her dog alone to play in private. Private isn't a concept in Charlie's nature. Because he's a dog. But Charlie agrees to be leashed and we walk away and let them have the beach by themselves.
But, before this little drama and heartbreak (Charlie just wants to be friends!) I am suddenly, startlingly happy, as I swim, alone under the blue sky, with Charlie and Suzi watching me from shore, because I realize, step by step, since almost the first day I arrived for my walks on this shore, I have changed. And I'm in swimming, looking up at the sky, when I realize that I have let go: the feeling, the anxiety, the sorrow, the stress of an old idea I was carrying about something I needed to control, has just lifted. Evaporated up into this massive white party-time clouds. An old, old belief slipped away and I am free of it. I am changed! I thought to myself in the sea: When I swim to the shore, when I step from the water onto the rocky, sandy shore, I will rise onto my earth legs differently. Does it matter that I say what this is? No, it's a feeling, and idea, a value, a block. I am lighter now, so light as I float into this new awareness! Because I walked and I asked and I troubled myself and I thought and I banged my own head against the rock wall of my resistance, my assumptions and prejudices. What a blessing, to have a mind and a heart open to change, by growth; not by force. The sea, the tides, all of this brilliant light has worked its magic. I will be sixty soon and in some ways never the same. Because I can walk on my earth legs, with a heart beating from a sea change.