Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Sights and Sounds of the Sea - Medicine for the Soul

Tom and I hadn't been back to Gloucester and Rockport in several years. He is running the Around the Cape 25K tomorrow and we decided to make a day trip out of number pick up. That's the great thing about being a runner; not only do you have the excitement of races but you can create day trips and vacations around the road race.

I have always loved the ocean. After my nephew ended his life in March of 2011 by jumping off his fishing boat, the sea didn't hold the same charm and comfort for me -- until yesterday. What a pleasure to see a place we would often visit through new eyes.

There is a small beach we used to frequent at the end of the walk way where the statue of the Gloucester Fisherman stands.

We thought that would be a wonderful place to relax and then walk into town to have lunch after number pick up. It was too windy to sit on the beach so we enjoyed time on the soft grass on the walk way overlooking the ocean where we we had a little insulation from the wind.

We allowed the ocean to become our meditation object.

I felt blessed by my nephew's presence as I reflected on the words on the Gloucester Fisherman Statue: "They that go down to the sea in ships."

For the first time since his death, I felt healed and could take deep breaths once again enjoying the majesty, magic and mysticism of the sea.

Tom and I have weathered many, many storms in our 36 years of marriage. It was a joy and a delight to experience yesterday's brilliant sunshine and calm and peace in the moments that made up our day.

Since it wasn't a beach day, we decided to head up to Bearskin Neck.

We poked in and out of the shops known to showcase local artist's talents. I saw this on display outside of one shop:

My nephew's sister, my niece posts that on her facebook page on his birthday in December and on the anniversary of his death. I smiled knowing that his physicality may be gone but he is right here in my heart.

After our obligatory ice cream treat - and I mean treat since we have ice cream maybe once or twice a year, we set up our chairs at the tip of Bearskin Neck watching sailing, kayaking, stand up paddle board surfers and enjoying the rhythm of the sea and tourists come and go.

Before we left Cape Ann, we stopped by Helmut's Streudel. It was so tempting to bring home streudel or their cookies but we opted for a spinach and feta croissant to have for my post long run on Sunday:

The sights and sounds of the sea in a town known for its fishermen was medicine for my soul helping to bring peace and closure to a wound of grief.

"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.

I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.

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