Do you ever wonder about something? Want to ask a question and maybe don't as you feel silly?
I do lots.
Children have no qualms about asking questions...even ridiculous ones. Why is it as adults we hide our curiosities?
Recently I did a series of questionnaires through a psychology department to help determine what makes me happy. I discovered one of my greatest passions is a love of learning. Hence my library and reading addiction, love of hanging with kiddos in school and flighty tendencies to try every hobby, food, sport or job known to man.
Today we lost a family member to cancer. My dear Uncle John went from golfing weeks ago to suddenly ending up in the hospital to embark on a horrible and painful fight for his life. They were unable to treat him and today he passed. We are in Mexico now and he wasn't up to talking on the telephone so we never got to say goodbye. He will be missed but I am glad he is no longer hurting.
In honor of Uncle John today, and the frailty of life I went for a very long walk on the beach just before sunset and played a game of 'I wonder' with myself. I made it up, and this is how it went...
I see a man standing in the waves tossing a net into the surf. I watched and waited and when he came to shore I took a deep breath and asked him: "What are you fishing for?"
He showed me the fresh caught fish in his pail, and I met a new friend. Tony who is from Pennsylvania but originally a fisherman from Sicily. He taught me how to fish with a net and rope in the surf and I got a lot of joy of watching his excitement of making a catch. He offered me a bucket of fish but I had no desire to carry wiggly fish on my journey. So I said bye and promised to try back another evening and bring the boys to meet him.
About fifteen minutes further along the beach I saw a gorgeous house right on the beach. Another I wonder popped into my head...I wonder who lives there?
Just then the gate opened and I guy walked out and I felt like a dork for standing on the beach gawking at his house. Normally I would just turn away quick and keep walking. Another deep breath and I said: "Hi, I really like what you have done with your house."
He came down to the beach to do his workout. So there I was with Mr. Fancy Sunglasses who lived in the nice house trying his new cross fit exercise. Sort of like a superman plank but he was doing it fast. It was hard but I felt a little awkward busting a move with a stranger in my bikini so I said bye once again and kept going.
The sun was starting to set so I headed back. I love the ocean but I am generally leary of swimming in the water when it's dark. But a stripe of sun was sparkling across the water and I had another 'I wonder' moment. I wondered what it would be like to swim in that last stripe of sun before it dipped below the horizon. Plus to be 100% honest I had to pee! No one was around so another deep breath and I went in and swam out into the dark water along the diagonal line of the setting sun. It was so pretty but a little unnerving as the water on either side was pitch black. I was just getting comfortable with my swim when I stood up and it felt something flat and flappy under my feet. Either a ray or one of those silly flat fish with eyes on the side of their head and not really something to panic about but I am a spaz and screamed a little and ran out like a freak, glad no one else was near. It probably liked my pee, I should know better...pee in the ocean and you risk attracting weird creatures.
So now I am wet and a little frazzled without a towel to dry off so I headed towards my folks place. As a means to dry off I decided to do a little exercise to warm up before I headed back. But what can you do on the sand when you are wet? Squats, lunges? Then my last solo 'I wonder' moment hit. In the deep sand I then proceeded to do as many deep walking lunges as I could in a row. I hit 144 before I decided to value being able to walk tomorrow in a semi normal way over my need to challenge myself silly. Now I no longer need to wonder about that one...I am content with the results for now.
A bit of yoga to stretch things out and hubbie found me for dinner. Lucky for me he brought a towel so I could have a quick shower on the beach before dragging my soggy, sandy body and happily satisfied curiosities back upstairs for the night.
Farewell Uncle John, I have so many happy memories from my childhood of you...always smiling, your laugh that made me laugh, your gentle soul, your awesome home perms from Aunt Mary, the water snake at the cottage, your hatred of mosquitos and love of perogies, the patience and pure love you radiated for your wife, racing Babcia in the yard at the farm and her beating you, your kindness to me as a child and my own children when I was grown.
I know you are in peace now and I am grateful for you inspiring me to step past my shyness and follow through with my 'wonders' today and I promise to not stop playing my new little game.