I’m just back from seeing our brilliant, lovely, treasured Averil at the beach. Lucky me! I don’t have photos to prove it. Sorry. But remember I am not one of the talented photographers in our crew and so was smart enough to leave my camera at home (accidentally on purpose). Here’s how things went, in a list, of course.
1. It was like meeting up with an old friend, all joy and comfort, excited calm, and let’s-get-there-already so we can visit. We headed down the steep sand hill, my dog Lea running crazy excited circles all around, and settled onto an old blanket and blue beach towels.
2. Sweatshirts required. It was a cool 57 degrees, breezy and overcast. No blue sky in sight. No sun. Windblown hair, two pairs of naked feet, perfectly polished toes digging in the sand. A perfect setting, maybe, for a story?
3. What happens when 2 of Betsy‘s posse meet for the first time? They talk about our beloved Betsy, of course! And the playground at Betsy’s. The best playground in town.
4. Over a 4 hour period we covered every topic on tap, including but not limited to: friends, husbands, mothers, children, dogs, extended families, writers, fiction, memoir, research, genre, the writing life, pseudonyms, exposure, writing in a chair, writing on a bed, quieting the noise, chasing the idea, working in an office and not working, education, past lives, dream lives, staying put and relocating, the desert, the rain, growing up, figuring it out, feeling lost, getting lost, finding what you’re good at, trying, failing, what success looks like, the future … and that’s the short list.
5. Photos were taken. Photos were taken with good old fashioned film. But you’ll have to wait for Averil to get home from her adventures (next week?) for evidence. Be patient. She’s off having a grand adventure.
6. Morning became mid-afternoon. A few tiny raindrops. A husband called saying it was time to hit the road. Lea had eaten too much sand. Averil and me? Our pants were salt-water-wet halfway to our knees, toe polish rubbed dull by the sand, hair a tangled, beautiful mess. One last trudge back up the steep white hill. The last hug goodbye.