When I saw that people drove for miles on the beach, I thought it was a great idea and wanted to do it. The idea of being on a beautiful beach miles from anywhere and with just the surf for company seemed like heaven? I don’t think Texans realize how lucky they are to have such wonderful beaches and how rare such a thing is? The beaches in Europe are so crowded and in Canada they are definitely not warm like these ones are for most of the year!
But – I didn’t dare to do it alone! I thought I might get caught in a storm or stuck in the sand – I guess the adventuring part of me is just one part. There’s also a bit of chicken! Padre Island stretches about a hundred miles in a thin ‘barrier’ strip protecting the mainland.
On the longest part there are no roads and the best way to explore the beach is to drive on it. There’s also some great surf – depending on the weather… And dozens of birds. You have to plan carefully to make sure the tide is going to be low enough to drive to wherever you choose for your picnic and back again. The weather can be extreme and dangerous, so part of the planning has to include tides and weather. Plus the usual picnic and water and swimsuits and sunscreen. Eeeek!! This is going to be so good!
Wow… I love pretty much all beaches but this is something very special: miles and miles of ocean – Gulf – and beach, stretching out as far as the eye can see. I was amazed at the number of birds that we saw. I had a fabulous day.
Around this time of year there is a lot of seaweed washed up on to the beach and mixed in with it there’s some common household trash, floating in with the tide. Sadly this trash – mostly half-degraded plastic – was dumped at sea, forming the huge island of floating garbage off the waters of Mexico, ‘donated’ by the USA and is now washing ashore.
There’re also jellyfish and we saw several Portugese-men-of-war, which are several times more poisonous than rattlesnakes. There are many other little sea-creatures in the seaweed too which draws thousands of birds. One thing I saw – that I loved the idea of – were one or two tents with washing out and I had visions – perhaps not practical? – of people being able to live here, eating fish and surviving in nature?
That week, with surfing, sunbathing, the beach drive and a few outings to dance was idyllic. Relaxed. Perfect.
Now there’re just a few days left until I leave Texas and I feel a panic creeping in. I also notice increasing manic behaviour in myself, trying to ‘cram it all in’: chasing calmness that I think somehow I’ll find if I try hard enough? Ha! I should know better… Oh, a ‘should’ as well eh!?! I guess I need to breathe deeply and stay with the panic?! Seriously, I do…
Trust the process: trust yourself and what’s happening. Why am I panicking? It’s true I can rush around in an attempt to feel better… If I really think that will help. And I’ll be no wiser as to what’s going on inside of me. Or I can let the panic wash over me and lead me to the reason for the panic? Which it will, if I just let it. Trust ‘me’…
Ah, here it is… I don’t want to leave. That feel’s true? If I try and tell myself a fib, I get a panicky feeling! If I’m honest, I feel calm and OK. Interesting. My heart’s racing: now what? Why am I feeling this way? I bury my ears under my hands and refuse to think anymore tonight: enough’s enough.
What is it here in Corpus Christi that’s drawing me so strongly? Is it the magnificent beaches? Or the weather? I find the storminess and the wind and the heat (not crazy about the humidity – although it seems good for my skin) both exciting and comfortable. It’s as if I’m ‘home’? In Victoria I just didn’t feel quite ‘comfortable’ despite a lovely house and a city and activities which, each by themselves, I loved? It was confusing. As I told one of my girlfriends, I felt as I imagine a goldfish would feel, locked in a beautiful goldfish bowl with a fabulous view: still in a bowl. Here,in Texas, it just ‘feels’ right? Right for me, that is. I don’t want to leave. “Don’t be ridiculous: be adult” I scold myself. “I’m trying. Very hard. I should go home.”
This week we went to a Hooks game against Tulsa at Whataburger field that was great. The lighting was so realistic and looked like noon on a sunny day even though it was nightime. I almost needed sunglasses! Harbour Bridge was colourfully lit – outside the field it was really nightime – and it provided a surreal backdrop for the scoreboard and the artificial daylight. At one point an oil tanker was going under the bridge, a jet was flying above us, one of our players hit a home run and there were fireworks and cheering, OMG (oh my goodness)… I had a hot dog in my hand and an ex-baseball player by my side: I can’t remember a better evening.
“If I keep busy enough… Chatter enough… Be witty enough… Maybe ‘it’ will go away, this panicky feeling?” Most nights we went dancing – country western at Whisky River and Ropers, ballroom at Mary Lee’s studio and Tehano at Tequila Rose. My cup runneth over.
Today my dance partner from Victoria arrived to drive back to Canada with me. I’m looking forward to our drive back to BC, with our intention to dance in every town we stop in. It was good to see him – he looks great and it was so nice to dance with him again. After an initial awkwardness – which was similar to putting on a pair of once comfy old winter shoes after a long summer – we were having fun. We went to a 10th wedding anniversary celebration for 2 of my new friends – he’s Bahai and both are dancers – at one of South Texas’s oldest dance halls in a place called Robstown. What a perfect venue for a party! It was fantastic – Happy Anniversary again to J and C and I look forward to showing you some ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ and our dance scene when you visit next year.
At bedtime I went over my day: I’m happy and content and have had a great time. I feel truly blessed and at home here in Corpus – this whole area. I plan to come again at the end of this year. I have to go home… Don’t I? I can’t seem to remember why? That feeling of panic and uneasiness is growing? Growing and growing and growing…
I trust the answer will come.