And just like that, as suddenly as we landed in Stinson Beach, we are leaving.
Let me start by saying that I believe our lives are divided into chapters. Sometimes the chapters in our lives come to an end because of decisions we make, and sometimes life just happens and turns the page for us. Regardless of how it happens, the next chapter always holds something different – a new world, a new lesson, a new experience.
3 years ago, we were living in Orinda in a gorgeous home with a pool and the woods for a backyard. If you’d asked me then, I would have told you that we were living in paradise, and that it couldn’t possibly get any better. I didn’t want that chapter to end. But as time went on, it was clear that a new chapter was awaiting us, in the form of a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country adventure.
And after 6 months of living our dream traveling around the country, I was again reluctant to let the chapter end. We had found something so special on that trip and I was afraid we’d lose it when we got back to so-called “real life”. But when the trip was over, something remarkable happened – we didn’t lose anything. We took what we had learned on the trip and that is what landed us in Stinson Beach.
Our Stinson Beach chapter has been so full, so beautiful, so restorative and so very good for the soul. We slowed down. We spent long days gazing at the ocean. We learned how to boogie board, how to surf, and exactly how much gear is really required for a 14-hour day at the beach. We made art, we danced, meditated, hiked, biked, swam, spent long weekends with our families playing games, and took the time to cook delicious meals. We made some really good friends. Most days, we stopped what we were doing just to watch the sunset.
So, as this chapter comes to an end, you can bet that I’m fighting the desire to hold on tight and never let it go.
But I’ve learned a thing or two over the past years. Leaving Stinson Beach doesn’t mean leaving behind the things we love, the lessons we’ve learned, or the friends we’ve found. I also know that while we can’t say for sure that the next chapter will be objectively “better” I know it will bring us something new. “Better” has never been the goal anyway – it isn’t about a search for greener grass… For us, it’s about exploring. Learning. And when I get nervous about leaving a really good thing, I just imagine what we would have missed if we had never left Orinda.
So, like any chapter in a really good book, it’s time for this one to end. As our move date creeps near, I will read these last pages very slowly. And when it comes to an end, I’ll close my eyes, take a deep breath, and turn the page.