A dear person once told me that sometimes you have to go back to go forward.
Going back to Tulum was going forward. This time, on different terms. Which was mostly yoga, reading, strolling via bicycle, silence, and staring across the horizon. Going to sleep at 9:00pm never felt so right.
The first journey here was in January of 2014 and that's when the seeds were planted to start a writing project. Writing what, I didn't know. But I wanted it to be inspiring, useful and humorous - for myself as well as those who might choose to read it.
I've always been a little late to the party. Missing from my DNA - actually and symbolically - is the natural ability to arrive on time. I was born ten days past my due date, so that seems like a good enough excuse for it. That and I own two food businesses, which keep me in a semi-state of dash. Eventually (within a forgivable timeframe, usually with an apology and baked goods) I do show up. Better late than never, right?
So it makes sense that it took me a year to get back to the writing idea, and with it, the need to carve out time for life and creative practice outside of work. I think I'm ready now (or just flat out in denial) to take the leap. It doesn't mean I want to stop being a chef. I just want to be a chef who also writes. Hence, THIS THING. Here goes nothing and everything.
Back to Tulum. A new spirit place. No disrespect to PDX, but I've made space for another now. A land where time slows, where there is magical sunrise and moonlight, quiet beaches, temazcal, lush jungles, fish tacos, coconuts with straws and mysterious ruins? I'll take it.
Walking on the beach, I stubbed my toe on a rock, and lost my balance on the piles of seaweed drying and rotting in the sun. If a girl falls on the beach and no one sees it, did it really happen? You’re goddamn right it did… but, as per usual, falling down reminds me that there is a ground. Cursing and laughing, I regained my footing and continued south down the uncharted path.
Wandering the coastline as the water rolls back and forth on the shore, salty suds soaping the sand. A vast ocean can't wash pain away, but the sounds of waves coming and going soothe the soul while its wades in the pause between. Deciding I needed to rest, I sat upon a random beach swing.
A joy of my childhood flooding back. The ropes emitting a familiar creaking, legs pumping me forward, hair blowing backward over my face: these things that can only be associated with a delightful coping mechanism of youth. I discovered that it still works. Lost in a swing set daydream, I set two intentions. First, BREATHE. Second, focus. Just write and let it come.
As for the seaweed -- some might find the smell of fermenting ocean plant off-putting. For what's it's worth, I love it. Despite the efforts of dozens of men trying to clear it daily from an otherwise pristine beach, I like that the seaweed continually washes up overnight. Its presence and its dank funk reminds me that everything is part of a cycle and, from the right perspective, all of it is beautiful. Coming and going, as fiercely or gently as waves.