Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
This year my daughter headed off to her first year of college. She really wanted to take a trip to the beach before she left. For me, the beach is where I go to relax, recharge and dream. However, for the very first time, this trip would include not just my daughter but my husband (her step dad) as well. It wasn't the first time that the three of us had gone to the beach but it was the first time that my daughter wasn't taking a friend along AND the first time that the three of us would share one hotel room instead of a condo. I was excited but a bit nervous.
My husband met my daughter when she was 10 and became her step dad when she was 15. Their relationship is still evolving and I wasn't sure I could enjoy this trip while acting as the conduit (or maybe the translator) between the two of them.
One evening, the three of us walked about six blocks to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. We were seated towards the back of the a very full restaurant. Latin music played happily, punctuated by the sounds of chatter and laughter. We munched on crisp tortillas and enjoyed the wonderful smell of grilled fajitas, Dinner talk included conversation about graduation, the summer and the quickly approaching start of college. I slowly came to realize that we were having a pretty awesome time with great conversation that didn't seem forced. And best of all, I wasn't the one doing most of the talking.
This lovely dinner came to an end and we made our way to the front of the restaurant with happy smiles and suddenly found ourselves crowded shoulder to shoulder with a lot of people trying to leave. Peeking through the heads, we discovered the the rain that had been threatening all day had arrived with all the force predicted. It was dark and it was pouring, the kind of rain that soaks you to the skin in a few minutes. So we joined the crowd of people waiting for the rain to slow. One by one, cars came by to pick some folks up and others opened umbrellas or put on brightly colored rain coats and started walking. We, of course, did not think the threat of rain was serious enough to actually bring umbrellas.
After a few minutes, we realized there was no sign of it slowing and we decided to just make a run for it.....six blocks! We started running and were immediately soaked to the skin. The heat of the day and our sunburns were immediately cooled. After a bit of running, it became rather comical because we were truly drenched and whether we got back to the hotel in ten minutes or twenty minutes wasn't going to make a difference in our current soaked condition. The rain, however, was pretty hard and so we began running from one striped shop awning to another and stopping....just to have a small reprieve from the pounding rain. Eventually I took off my sandals and ran through the puddles in my bare feet, something I hadn't done in years. All the while, we were keeping up this funny burst of running, stopping and laughing, and then running again.
Finally back at the hotel, we took turns in the bathroom peeling off our drenched clothes and wrapping ourselves in warm, fluffy towels. The rain continued and we eventually went out to the balcony to watch the ocean and the rain put on a beautiful show.
Even now, four months later, I can still recall the feeling of running bare foot in the rain with my wet pants flapping around my legs and giggling uncontrollably.