Monday, February 18, 2013

As It Is

brown rice with jalapeƱo-lime almonds, citrus-sesame slaw and barbecued tofu (which you can't quite see)
     Isn't it weird how we're all born in different places and then raised, in a sense, and shaped by them? What if I hadn't been born by the sea? Would I feel some inexplicable yearning for it? For its saltiness and the way it humbles me? For the way it cradles me and teaches me about life? Or would I find something else that would satisfy the same desires? "Maybe rock climbing", I think on this cool Sunday evening (although, I'm not convinced). 

     Scott sits about five feet from me on the couch reading Treasure Island and the back door is slightly cracked, allowing the quickly cooling afternoon breeze to sneak into our house and blow the linen curtains in a way that makes them seem alive. 

      I'm sitting adjacent to him in our big green arm chair writing in my journal and wondering about life. We limited our TV watching for Lent and my mind feels freed from that habit I am realizing now is rather constricting. 

     Scott had a four day weekend and seeing as I work from home on Fridays, I decided to give myself the day off. We surfed and swam in the ocean for what felt like the last two days. 

     I surfed my favorite spot with my dad and Kevin who nearly never paddle out there even though it's only 100 yards from their usual spot. Scott bodysurfed since his back has been bothering him. He also snapped a few pictures of us as we rode past. It felt very relaxing to be out there. Being swayed by the sea feels more natural to me sometimes than walking on land. 

     Writing about the ocean makes me feel like a fool sometimes, though, so I won't go on and on. I still do it (obviously), but I often convince myself that it is one of those things that is so incomprehensible that you should just leave it to speak for itself and give up trying to label it. But I do have to say that, that big blue salty thing makes me feel the joys and sorrows in life all at once; how beautiful it is to be married and how devastating it is that my cousin has cancer. The ocean makes me intensely aware of life. I know Scott feels the same way even though he doesn't feel the need to gush about it as regularly as I do. 

     Sitting in our living room now, I think back on those sessions we had with friends and family and the meals we shared together the past few days. On Friday night, my mom made a delicious slaw. The word slaw doesn't seem to do it justice because that word reminds me of pig food, but trust me, it was good! My dad and Scott barbecued chicken for everyone else and tofu for me. Sometimes imagining myself as high-maintenance makes me laugh and sometimes it makes me cringe, but my family loves me and they barbecue my tofu without a fuss. Kevin even convinced my dad to try a piece of tofu, and for once he didn't wince. Progress, I conclude. 

     I try to cement these memories in my mind, even though these days are simple and recurring, because they seem to be the ones that teach me most about who I am. I look forward to the day when my younger sisters return home from the east coast and Scott's family comes to town so we can all make these memories together. 

     I'm writing this down in my journal as Scott gets up to go change before we head over to dinner at "Uncle" Kevin's house. "Ten minutes until 5" he says as he walks past and squeezes my shoulder. 

    All I can think to write down now is that we're meant to encounter the things we do. We are born to certain people, in certain places for a reason. We can't know what's coming or exactly why things happen, but we have to make our way and find love. 

22 comments:

  1. This is lovely. :)

    Limiting TV for Lent is a great idea. I've become far too comfortable flipping on Hulu or Netflix every night.

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  2. So well written Devon! You were definitely meant to live by the ocean! And I love that you 2 can just sit and be still together. The background noise of the tv can so easily distract us from what's really important!

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  3. There are so many things in this post that resonate with me- the yearning and beauty of the sea, the inquisitiveness about the roots we're give and the ones we put down and how in all its simplicity life can be a wonderous thing.
    Keep sharing, keep gushing...peace.

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  4. Love that last line. Really resonates with my family.


    xx
    Bonnie Rose | The Compass Rose

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  5. You have a wonderful gift for writing...thanks for sharing it with the blogging community!

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  6. Yes, yes, & yes! Esp. for the slaw and that last line :)

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  7. Love this post! You're a beautiful writer. I have never really considered if the place I grew up and it's surroundings shaped me to be who I am, it's hard to consider that at the moment when I feel lost and still finding myself and who I want to be. You're incredibly lucky to have been raised by the ocean. Although I have never seen it in person I find it beautiful and the water incredibly "delicious". LOVED the last line in the post. That's how I feel about life at the moment, "we have to make our way and find love."

    www.MySerendipitousLife.com

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  8. I love it when you verbally unleash (in a nice way) on your blog. And I think you're right. I think there is something in us that calls us to certain things, no matter where you are. Look at me. I was born and raised in San Diego, but I don't have that yearning for the ocean like you do. I have it for the mountains and a lake! The ocean is part of who you are.

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  9. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. <3

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  10. This post really hit home with me. One of the reasons I'm so drawn to your blog is that you're living a version of the life I've often dreamt about--near the ocean, riding the waves everyday, and finding your own path instead of just following tradition. My biggest dream is to sail the high seas and live on an island somewhere. Even though I grew up in Kansas, I still feel the pull of the ocean for what it represents--the Romance of life. The good, the bad, and the miraculous. I've been at crossroads in my life when I chose to follow a path that wouldn't take me to that dream. I have to believe that there is a reason for everything, and at the end, it will all hit me like a lightning bolt--"Ah, I see it now. It all makes sense." It also takes the courage you've shown to make it happen--thanks for being an inspiration!

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  11. Devon - Your photos are beautiful, and so is your writing! I think growing up in California has definitely shaped my love of the beach, sunshine, and life outdoors. Your posts are so beautiful, relaxing and inspiring - they make me feel like I'm on vacation (even though I live by the beach too, I don't get to spend as much time there as I'd like). :) Love!

    Jeanette

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  12. I think a love for the ocean (or any environment) is inherent in us. I grew up in the desert of Nevada but actually feel more of a pull for the ocean than I do the desert... maybe because I grew up seeing brown everywhere. I'm really drawn to California's coastline and redwood forests. Through a series of life opportunities I found my way here over 10 years ago, and it's really hard to pick another place I'd rather be right now.

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  13. I just found/followed your blog and I am so in love with it. I'm a writer and San Diegan as well and I just started blogging again myself. I really look forward to reading more!
    xoxo Bri | SanBriego.com

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  14. this is how i feel about the mountains. they calm and humble me. I can get lost in the whispers of the wind in the trees... sitting in my living room with my husband, watching the snowfall next to a fire with wood we cut in our background. If I was not born a mountain girl would I need the mountains as much as I do?
    " All I can think to write down now is that we're meant to encounter the things we do. We are born to certain people, in certain places for a reason. We can't know what's coming or exactly why things happen, but we have to make our way and find love. " Yes. Yes. and Yes.

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  15. What deep thoughts you have when the TV is off!! :D. Love the sparkling water, the bird silhouette, and the sunset and moon! Wowee!

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  16. Your writing always captivates me. I feel like every time I leave here, I am deep in thought about something you've mentioned in one of yours posts.

    So, here I am again... thinking. I too think about the things we encounter in this life and wholeheartedly believe they all happen for us. I know if I wasn't born into my family, all the way over in Virginia, and that if my brother didn't move out to SD years ago, I may never have found this beautiful place I can now call home. It's so interesting the way life works :)

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  17. This is SO beautifully said, Devon. Please never stop writing about the ocean. You're so alive in the words! For me it's music - early music, like pre-Mozart - sung in church. I'm Jewish, but I was a chorister at a cathedral for years, and I can always brought to tears by the power and the fragility of the music.

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  18. I am sorry I missed this post... you are so relaxed. And so is Scott. I attribute this directly to the ocean. Sean and I are afraid of the ocean. I blame my scaredy-cat-ness on Sean and Shark Week because 11 years ago I did, in fact, love to swim in the ocean. But you, lady, are truly one of a kind. Amazing. Beautiful. And relaxed. And blessed.

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  19. I think I must be one of your "older" readers. One thing that I appreciate about your writings is the way you appreciate your life, your world. Often times people run through their lives, and age can bring regret that you didn't stop and sense all the life, love and beauty around you. You are an amazing woman Devon, and we are all lucky to have you in our lives.

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  20. yup, I knew I'd like this. What a gift life is and how delicately we must handle it...and yet...with intention too. I am always struck with the importance of not taking the turns of life for granted. I am really glad you decided to do what you do (surf, pursue a life you love, not money...) - it's so important and so needed. High five.

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  21. yup, I knew I'd like this. What a gift life is and how delicately we must handle it...and yet...with intention too. I am always struck with the importance of not taking the turns of life for granted. I am really glad you decided to do what you do (surf, pursue a life you love, not money...) - it's so important and so needed. High five.

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  22. Beautiful words and beautiful pictures.

    This completely captures how I feel about growing up surrounded by trees, mountains, and the ocean. I love it. It has made me who I am and while I could be another person if not for my experiences with these things I love so much, that is luckily a reality I will never have to face.

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