Today was, as the Joe Nichols song goes, Sunny and 75. And thankfully not humid like yesterday. AMAZING. Some snapshots of the day.
Someone I know from the museum honked at me on my street as I was trying to get the bus, which was cool and made me smile. SO MANY AWESOME PEOPLE HAVING FUN from small babies running naked on the beach to elderly couples with canes and every kind of person in between, of every color and ethnicity (in Portland, no less, which I have never experienced to be that diverse before) were running around, strolling, rolling down hills, playing basketball, swimming, reading, sitting, chatting, pushing kids on swings, every activity imaginable by every kind of person imaginable on the Eastern Prom today. It was like 75 with no humidity. It was pretty incredible. People in shorts and tank tops when just a few days ago we were still wearing winter coats. Man, what a lesson that things can change like that - both for the worse AND for the good.
So... I came back to the apt for shorts after half an hour. I didn't want to but I knew I had to push myself to go out of my comfort zone a little to properly enjoy this day. So I found the shorts, dropped off my bags, and went to the beach. I didn't want to because of the hill, but I made myself. The hill did suck, and actually I realized beaches are not very sensory friendly places to me, at least certain ones, but I tried. The boat launch proved to be a more sensory friendly, enjoyable place. I took off my shoes and put my feet in the water. Ouch - I need flip flops. But I tried. So many people so happy! I sat by the boat launch a while though - that part was good. It felt SO good to have shorts and no shoes on - bare feet and legs in the beautiful sun. I listened to and sung to songs on the radio for half an hour watching the sun sparkle on the water by the boat launch before I left. Most people were either with other people or engaged in solitary pursuits so I saw not a single one who seemed to be open to conversation on the actual Prom or beach itself.
I did however run into an older guy a little further down on a bench at the outer edge of the Prom when I finally walked back up it. He had a dog at his feet and a blissfully open energy about him, so I started a conversation with him. It started with the weather, and his dog, and then led to discussions of nuclear energy (his occupation), Pennsylvania (where he was from), Baltimore (we both had lived in or near it), and the pet oxygen mask that I had heard about in the community connections radio program Dave Winsor so artfully did on the radio last night/ this morning (I had no idea I would have the opportunity to use it in conversation today! So cool. I was struck by how good of an interviewer he is, and inspired by the passion of the guy who is trying to get all Maine towns to own pet oxygen masks.)
I then ran into Rob...Seriously. I just ran into him walking back to my apartment. That's never happened before, ever, in seven years, but I had left my phone behind and apparently he had the same idea of the beach as I did. So, he went to dinner, I shopped for groceries at whole foods, and then we spent an hour together having far more meaningful conversation than we have in a long time, perhaps because we were both far more relaxed than we'd been in a while.
While shopping, let's see, how many people did I run into. Martin who I know from the museum and Laura, her wonderful husband and daughter who I hadn't seen in ages. "You're glowing," she said to me. Such a difference one's environment makes, at least for me. Knock on wood, I have room and space and ability to be me in all my glory here, instead of just suffocating behind wall after wall of barriers to ever even feeling okay like I was before. May it last as long as humanly possible, because for me, it usually doesn't. But I will enjoy it while it does. Pretty meaningful day. If I can keep my body from falling apart any further I might just get a meaningful life...
3 hours ago