Recently after a long stretch of work/church/family obligational fulfillments, we decided to take a quick trip to Anna Marie Island, just outside of Sarasota. The residents of the island have worked to maintain the original “feel” of community but money-laden developers are slowly working their way in. However, we did secure an older home on the north end of the island for some R&R and escape. The home was well-equipped for a brief or long stay and given my selfish need of silence and rest, the proximity was perfect; especially the screened-in porch on the back of the house.
After a day or two of the standard sight-seeing excursions on our bikes, I slipped back into my normal routine of emails, phone calls and whatever else I believed I needed to do in order to complete my responsibilities of which all must be maintained in order for the universe to continue its existence. Finally the barrage of email responses (which elicited more responses) overwhelmed me. I could feel my countenance changing to that of a solo circumnavigator hitting Cape Horn in the middle of a “Hurricyclone” I was sitting less than 100 yards from the Gulf waters, white sand, blue skies and low 80’s temperatures but all I could see was a 15 inch computer screen with it’s digital hands around my neck. I actually paid someone to stay in their home on an island so I could do the exact thing I normally do at my own home……Brilliant!!
While pondering my latest lunacy, I decided to close shop on the insanity and stroll out to the beach. I grabbed my phone and flip-flops and scurried westward with no agenda other than escaping my own shackles. The beach was pristine and perfect; The water inviting and unintentional. I don’t think I saw another person for at least 30-minutes and if there were other wandering souls, I subconsciously treated them as a part of the topography and maintained my aimless search for solitude. As I hit my stride for a brisk walk, I noticed this flock of Terns sprawled across my intended path. My body wanted to continue but my eyes seemed to pull the emergency brake and I just stood and stared. They (the birds) probably felt uncomfortable as I peered at them as if they were some sort of a freaky circus act but everything in my line-of-sight just seemed so perfect. I snapped the picture and just stood there until the Terns decided my time with them had expired and we all parted amicably.
I eventually found my way back to our house and just sat and stared at the marsh. It was nice. The remainder of our time on AMI, I went to bed when I was sleepy. I awoke when I wasn’t (or when my son decided I wasn’t). I ate when hungry and even when walking, I would go until I saw something worth stopping for. As mentioned earlier, it was nice.
We’ve since returned to our home and routine but this photo reminds me there is so much more to life than the treadmill I seem to be on, everyday. Much like a hamster wheel, we run frantically and seemingly with a purpose only to find ourselves, tired, sweaty and no closer to a relevant destination. Maybe the inspirational words from the band, Alabama should serve as my reminder: