She told us we would leave changed.
Looking each of us in the eye while bundled under blankets and waiting as long as possible to shut the back doors allowing us to hear the tide roll in, she told us there was something happening.
And I felt it.
I felt it in my decision to go.
I felt it in the gypsy wagon that picked us up from the airport.
We arrived at our haven on Bliss Street right at dusk. We'd spent ample time at Target, assuring our preparedness for things like late night munchies and meals around the table and clinking of glasses.
As soon as we pulled in the driveway, I was emotional. I hugged the neck of a friend who calls this place her backyard, walked into the house and out the back door. Teresa was already ahead of me, running up the dunes as fast as she could with the sand falling behind her. I followed her lead, smiling and wiping at my cheeks because I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe I was there. It felt like I'd walked through some portal and landed in a place of magic and wonder and sisterhood.
"Elora! Look! A deer!"
I stopped. I blinked. I gasped.
There she was—right in front of me—staring at me as if to say I see you. You're safe here.
I breathed deep. My roots sunk low. I think I knew then the weekend would be one of restoration.
The next day I stood on the shore as the sun rose and let the wind whip my hair around and freeze my toes. I napped on the couch while listening to the waves crash against the rocks.
I walked the beach while the tide lapped at my ankles and learned that the trees there are called storm wood because they work with the wind, bending within the currents in order not to break.
I turned my back to the ocean then in order to snap a picture of the gnarled and twisted branches. Looking at my friend she smiled.
"I know." She said. "It's heavy."
We spoke of our year—each ripe with change and difficulty—and then she said something potent and mentioned how I write the weighty things and before I could even form a thought I blurted I don't ever want my words to be wasted—I want them to be temples.
It took me a few hours (and an italian soda spiked with vodka) to realize the reality of what I said.
Every minute I was in that house on Bliss felt like a returning. Every wave that receded back into the embrace of the ocean took another dead piece chipped away from this flesh and bone exterior.
So when I stood on a secret beach tucked away somewhere on that blessed island and threw a seashell with sharpied dreams back into the ocean, something clicked.
There's something to be said about all things becoming new.