Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Where the Road Ends...

 Anyone that has known me for very long knows I have a special fondness for the sea.  It is by the sea that I recenter and recharge my batteries.  There is a calmness that overcomes me when I put my toes in the sand and a joy that fills my soul when I can hear the waves crashing against the shore and smell the sweet smell that is unique to the sea.  It is by the sea that one's heart can begin to heal when it feels like it has been shattered into a million pieces.  The sea, for me, is a place of respite; a place to get rejuvenated. It is a place I love to share with those who care to join me.

About ten days ago I had the privilege of spending a week at the beach, in the Outer Banks to be exact, where I would be training a group from the area. Thanks to a wonderful friend I was able to stay at a house in Duck while I trained and amazing group of folks.  As an added bonus my BGF was able to get away from work and home and join me for the week.  She was in need of respite and rejuvenation-in need of the healing powers of the sea.

I picked my dear friend up in Raleigh and off we drove to the sandbar otherwise known as the Outer Banks.  She had never been there before and I knew she was going to be in for a treat of epic proportions.  In no time at all it seemed as if not a moment had passed since we last spoke. We spent the 4 hour drive catching up on the every day happenings and discussed the upcoming week.  The closer we got to the beach the lower our shoulders dropped; the more relaxed we both seemed to be. The sea was working it's magic.

Once my classroom was set up we made our way to the house in Duck.  Along the way I pointed out places and activities I thought might be of interest to her. I shared my desire to go hang gliding at Jockey's Ridge (on my bucket list) and recounted my first adventure in the OBX almost ten years prior.  As we spoke I noticed I was seeing things with fresh eyes as I shared the information with my friend of seventeen plus years.   

The week started off rainy and a little dreary and cool.  My students apologized for the weather, but I just smiled and replied, "A rainy day at the beach is still a day at the beach."    I was not to be daunted by the rain. I was enjoying the class and the time in the OBX. I found myself making new friends and really appreciating how fortunate I was.

 It was on the second day of the class that the rain stopped and we were able to go explore in the evening. It was on that evening that we saw a breathtaking sunset over the sound - a sunset we would have missed had we been there just minutes later.  After the sun sank below the horizon we made our way a few miles north to Corolla....to where the road ends.  It is here that you must have a 4-wheel drive or turn around. It is on that patch of sand that the wild ponies run, but alas my car is not 4-wheel drive. It was here we saw the (almost) full moon as it reflected it's beauty on the water.  It was here, windblown and covered in sand, 
that I captured this photo.

We tried to make the most of our time in the evenings.  The following day, after class, we made our way south...once again to where the road ends.  On the way we made a stop in Rodanthe.  Many years ago we went together to see the movie Nights in Rodanthe in the theater and I could not wait to show my dear friend the house used for the film.    

After leaving Rodanthe we made our way to Cape Hatteras where we sat by the sea and watch the surfers as they patiently waited for the "perfect" wave. We made memories as we laughed - a common theme for the week. 
And while we watched the surfers I watched a mother and her two children as they played in the sand, fishermen hoping to reel in the big catch, and the birds as they raced along the sand finding dinner beneath it's soft grains.  I think I could have sat there for hours.  
From the lighthouse we made our way to the ferry.  Once again it was where the road ends...at least for us.  There just wasn't enough time to venture over to Ocracoke on the ferry (we will save that for our next trip!).  As we drove back we saw kite boarders  and windsurfers as the sun started to sink towards the horizon.  We got to Bodie Island just in time to see the pinks, blues, and purple hues of the sunset as the full moon rose behind the lighthouse.  Another day was done.

Our last night in the OBX was spent with some incredible women who, led by my dear friend, performed the Vagina Monologues.  Neither of us had ever seen the production, but both of us were very impressed.   The sheer talent (and courage) in that room was remarkable. The venue was a charming restaurant on Roanoke Island, with a breathtaking view as a backdrop.  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful week.  

 The next day I wrapped up class and sadly said good-bye to a fun group of new friends.  We packed up the car and made one final stop in Nags Head for a walk in the sand before making our way off the island.  We were both sad to see the week end.  The next four hours flew by as we drove along talking and laughing (I will never hear Madonna again without thinking of that trip) and with a heavy heart we said good-bye in Raleigh - but with plans to make this an annual event...a plan I hope we can keep.

Moving to this amazing place I call home,  I lost, and developed a new, core group of friends.  Over the last year I have learned that time and distance change things-whether we want them to or not.  1000 miles is a long way and while some stay in touch others find it too hard and simply fade away.  I am blessed with, and grateful for, a wonderful support system of beautiful friends here -  I wouldn't trade my girls for anything, but I still love and miss the ones I left behind.  So as I sit here during these early morning hours writing I am grateful  that over the course of five days one of those friends...my BGF of seventeen plus years... and I had the chance to travel to where the road ends...and on the way reconnect with one another. 


  1. Beautiful story and written extremely well....lovely descriptors!! Hugs for you...miss you!!!