The third day is when you settle into that comfortable pattern of pleasures. Having come to terms with where you are in the world and your place in it (a three-minute walk down the boardwalk takes you over the dunes to toes in the sand, due west is the phosphorescent sunset, your villa is at mile marker 103), the hectic pursuit of relaxation and satisfaction falls away and you are actually living it. You are there.
Rare moments of indecision, of irritation, no longer faze you (Should I take a beach walk now or read in the room? Now, where did I put my glasses?) because you are at that place that brings you closer to clarity. To simplicity. To a sense of control.
Yet scraping at the edge of your awareness is a sharp reminder that the comfort cannot last. That your peace of mind is fleeting and that something else is destined to intrude on your pattern.
Eventually you must get back to whatever it is that you must do. To waking up to an alarm clock and taking lunch breaks between 12 and 2, to presenting projects to your boss and worrying that your work isn’t up to par. And to that constant buzzing in your brain that zaps you with your inferiority – that you don’t make enough money, that you’re really not that talented, and you’ll never get that book written – and forget about ever getting it published!
You dream of dropping everything, selling everything you own and affording a tiny old cottage -- maybe with a rickety screened door leading to a back-porch view of a marsh, where in the quietest times of day, if you concentrate, you can at least hear the sea.
You imagine a trip to the beach that is really a trip home. Where your body rhythms are in tune with the tides, your days filled with writing and reading and writing some more and your nights of rest are as sure and predictable as the sound of the waves.
But for now, you wave goodbye.
Clutching sand dollars.