I have always loved the image of taking my worries or regrets to the end of a pier and dropping them into the ocean, where they disappear, never to be seen again. I like it so much that I have made a practice of it. Those of you who know me know I venture to the sea as often as I can, but you might not know that I take a pocket full of stones with me. I am a reflective person- I like to learn from my mistakes, but it's not always as easy for me to forgive myself as it is for me to forgive others. So having a physical representation of letting go is something I have come to depend on, and what better to soothe your worries than the ebb and flow of the ocean?
This time as I head to the sea I won't be walking out on the pier though- I'll be heading right into the tide. I am heading to San Diego to do some volunteer work with the marine biologists of Cabrillo National Park on Point Loma. I had the opportunity to do it once before, the year I turned thirty, and it was the most cathartic and enriching experience- I couldn't have given myself a better birthday gift. The ocean has always been a part of my life- even in land locked AZ I can hear the sirens songs calling me back. I had serious aspirations of becoming a marine biologist so this is an unbelievable experience for me- and now my son has similar aspirations and can't wait to help with the tide-pool research (insert beaming-proud mama smile here).
Essentially my stint as a volunteer at Cabrillo is considered a volunteer vacation. What a wondrous concept, right? Going somewhere awesome on vacation and giving back to the community or environment all wrapped up together. It makes it easy to get to know some locals and can lead to some experiences you just wouldn't have as the average tourist. I wrote a travel essay about it- maybe someday I can get it published and share it with you... In the meantime, we were featured in a local San Diego paper, so if you want more info you can read about it here.
Being that I am from San Diego I don't consider myself a tourist (it's more like going home), but working with these people in Cabrillo has been a great way to get to know an amazing variety of people. I am shy though, so I am still working on making steadfast new friends, and I am EVER hopeful to find that cute biologist with a penchant for curly haired-book reading girls...