26 June 2012

Cedars and surf: antidote to a meltdown

Have I mentioned that I don't enjoy being pregnant? I have? Oh, well. Let me mention it again. Not only do I hurt all over, my hormones are going NUTS. This was bad enough when it was my first pregnancy, but at least then I was only taking care of my husband. This time, I have a precocious trouble-making three year old (is there any other kind?) and a sweet energetic one year old (who has figured out she can walk and climb) to waddle run after.

Said three year old has been pushing my buttons and testing every single boundary more and more every day since she hit two years old. This week she's been especially... ahem... adventurous? Brave? Daring? Those are nice ways to put it, we'll leave it at that. This afternoon, I broke down. Eric got home and kicked me out of the house. I didn't even argue about what I still needed to get done or anything of the sort, I went gladly to get some time away to myself.

Originally I had planned to go down to the beach in Seaside and watch the seagulls or maybe to Asilomar to watch the tide come in, and go to the weekly Farmer's Market in downtown Monterey. Instead, I found myself just driving along Highway 1 South. I had no idea where I was going or when I'd get there, I just went.

I think I'd been driving for about 2 minutes when I found myself bawling my eyes out. Tired. Overwhelmed. Frustrated with my kids (and maybe a little with myself). A headache (or two, counting Elizabeth). Homesick beyond belief. Missing my family and friends SO much. It seems like the closer I get to having the baby, the more often I'm homesick. Maybe it's because this is my first pregnancy and delivery so far from home. I had both the girls in the same city, now it's a different place. Of course it's also likely that 4rd trimester hormones and exhaustion play a hefty role too...

So there I was, driving and crying. I was literally blubbering "I want my mama". But a funny thing happened. The further I got from the city (well, town, really. Monterey is hardly a booming metropolis) the more I started to settle down and relax. Finally I started to notice the coastal views. It was gorgeous! I started to feel like I could breathe again, like maybe the world wasn't actually closing in around me.

I got a little ways out and pulled over several times to take pictures with my cell phone. The first time, I walked along a little trail admiring the flowers. Suddenly, I noticed that I didn't just smell the salty ocean air, I smelled something tangy and familiar, something that reminded me of home. There were cedar trees! (or maybe junipers, I've never really been able to tell the difference between the two. They both smell and look the same and heaven knows they aggravate my allergies pretty identically). Normally at home, I HATE the things. But today, they made me happy. I sat down on a rock and alternated between looking at the trees and looking at the ocean. I never would have thought that a cedar tree would make me happy, but it did.

I went back to the car and drove on, pulling over a couple more times at some more scenic lookouts. There are so many, and with good reason. Especially on a gorgeous summer day like today, the view is breathtaking. I just enjoyed the scenery, enjoyed the quiet, enjoyed the vastness of it all, enjoyed being out in the open with nothing, and yet everything, around me, just enjoyed being.

I did eventually make it back home, after a stop off at Asilomar Beach (my FAVORITE beach in the Monterey area). I plan on taking that drive again soon, this time with my camera to get some even better pictures. But for now, I'll post some of the pictures I got today, a little piece of the stillness and quiet that helped me find a measure of comfort and a sense of right-ness in my world again. Somehow, the ocean always helps me calm down. It's almost like I let my frustrations get pounded in the waves and taken out to sea. Whatever the reason, it works, and it's better for my weight than ice cream.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! The pictures are absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful! Thanks for posting them.

    I'm so sorry you're homesick. I miss my girl, too. I pray that God will send you a special blessing today and joy beyond belief! I love you and look so forward to being there in September!