Last night I dreamed that I walked to Avila Beach from LA. If you are from California or simply know the geography, you will understand when I tell you this dream felt endless, though I know I was only asleep for a short while. In my dream, I had to sneak away, and I was trying to rush because I wanted to get there and back before anyone knew I was missing. This morning my hips felt tight and achy like they do when I go back to running after not running for a while.
In my dream, I was drawn to this one particular view of the water. I simply had to get there, to see the velvet indigo of the Pacific, sunlight sparkling on its surface like a box of overturned diamonds. It was an impossible journey, but somehow I made it.
I’m not sure why Avila has become a touchstone for me. Maybe it’s symbolic of what I love about the Central Coast. It’s not the most beautiful or dramatic beach in the area, but it’s comforting and safe, like the warm embrace of a dear friend. We spent a magical afternoon and evening there this past summer. Walking on the beach, through the farmers’ market, my son and his two best friends. The boys from NY were in awe of the fresh fruit — the berries and the grapes, more colorful and flavorful than their East Coast cousins. There was music and dancing in the street and finally dinner in a tiny restaurant overlooking the water.
I haven’t heard back from Dr. P. I returned her call Wednesday morning, but was told I probably wouldn’t hear from her until today — Friday. I have no doubt that she’s going to call me at 3 pm when I am picking up my son, and maybe two or three of his friends, from school. The last time I tried to have a conversation with her in the car on a Friday afternoon, was the day we told my son I had cancer. He didn’t know yet and because I had no choice, I carried on as best I could, discussing MRIs and bone scans and silently praying that the kid sitting next to me was somehow lost in his own thoughts.
Though it would have been more efficient, or simply easier, to have answered the phone when she called Tuesday night, I have no regrets. I have a list of questions now that I didn’t have then, and my thoughts are more organized. I am prepared, ready now to talk about what needs to be discussed.
In times of darkness, I am drawn to the water. There is something about the pattern and rhythm of the waves that soothes me. What I feel standing on the sand, looking out at the waves, is what I imagine other people feel standing before the alter.
There is a line drawn from my heart to the shore, I could stand in the swirling white foam forever. Yesterday was a hard day. But I dreamed I went home to California. And today will be better.