I was raised at the beach. I grew up in Ocean City, New Jersey and always loved that I could call the little island my home. I could ride my bike anywhere. The beach was just a five-minute trip from my front door. My bedroom window looked out on the Great Egg Harbor Bay. Windows were open all the time so the sound of water lapping and boats motoring by was as much a part of me as breathing. It is here I could always have a good cry if I needed one.
I lived on the sand and in the water. I soaked up every ray of sun. As I grew, I drew comfort from the solitude and the quiet in all seasons that came with a little summer town. I particularly loved the times in the evening or before dawn when it felt like it was just me in the presence of something greater than myself.
I moved only 30 miles down the Garden State Parkway to the Cape May area shortly after I was married in the early 1990’s. Again, a few minutes bike ride took me to the beaches of the Delaware Bay, five minutes by car in the other direction took me to the beaches of Cape May itself. I would take long walks by myself, or with our two daughters and the dogs. Sometimes my husband would join us as well.
The kids and I would enjoy the summer days playing on the beach and getting ice cream. I always used the beach as my place to regain strength and come to peace in my soul. Seeing dolphins play was a daily occurrence. In fact, I felt like I was missing something and would not feel complete until I saw at least one dolphin on any given excursion to my favorite place.
A Good Cry Is Good For Your Soul
In October of 2012 I went for a walk beside the Delaware Bay as I often did. My children were getting older, mid-teens, and I relished the time it gave me to get back to my quiet place. I don’t recall the exact day in October, and that bothers me for some reason. Though, on this day, something was different. An unbearable weight seemed strapped to me. I walked down towards Cape May Point for a bit when I suddenly had to just stop and cry.
Don\’t ever underestimate the power of a good cry. http://wp.me/p7tZGL-11 http://reinventingjulie.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Crying.png
I have never cried so thoroughly that I can recall in my life. I know I cried loudly but I have no recollection if anyone overheard me. I don’t remember anyone walking by me or stopping to ask me if I was okay. This would not be a surprise though, after all, I’m from New Jersey, and avoiding awkward situations is the norm in Jersey. I’m not saying people aren’t good people. If I had writhed in pain clutching an ankle, someone would have helped. Let’s just say that Jersey folk are not the touchy feely sort.
I cried out every bit of anger I didn’t know I had. I cried out every bit of frustration that had held me for years. I cried for a marriage I knew was coming to an end. I cried for my children that were going to have to face the realities of a future without two parents in the same household. I cried because I felt lonelier than I had ever felt in my life. It was a gut wrenching, completely draining cry.
When I finished, the power of that cry made everything become clear. I didn’t know what step needed to happen next, but I knew that I needed to begin taking them. It was the most painful and yet freeing experience in my life. It brought me clarity after having lived in an unfulfilling fog for years. The beach supported the weight of those tears that fell in the two hours time I sat there. The bay water added to the salt from those tears as if to say, “There, there my dear. Let me join you.”
Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good cry. Allow yourself to feel every feeling you need to. If you’re lucky, you will do so in your personal favorite place that rejuvenates your soul and lets you feel at peace with your world. The beach has always been my friend. On that day, the beach was more than just my friend, it was family.