It's only 9am so the weather is still perfect. The summer heat hasn't unleashed its fury and the breeze still feels cool against my skin. There is hardly anybody here this early, just a few people and their dogs. I am able to find an isolated area close to the water. The sound of the ocean is indescribably beautiful.
I arrange my towel and lay down. As I look up at the cloudless blue sky, I am at peace until...
I start to panic. Thoughts wrestle with one another to gain control of my mind.
I don't have a full time job yet. I haven't found an apartment. I can't stay on my friend's couch forever. I am running out of money. I need to go home. I might not be able to come to the beach ever again.
Panic, panic, panic. Think, think, think.
In the midst of this stream of thought, I stop. I realize how ridiculous it really is.
Yes, it's possible that I may have to leave Chicago. Yes it's possible that I may not be able to come back to this particular beach or have this particular experience ever again in life.
But if that's true, do I really want to waste time worrying about it? Shouldn't I savor every spectacular moment of it while it lasts? The truth of what it means to live in the moment makes me catch my breath.
I will myself to focus on creating memories of every detail around me:
The way the seagulls tuck their feet below them as the fly above my head.
The way the dogs half run, half jump, half swim to retrieve the balls their owners throw out into the water.
The feeling of being hypnotized by the rhythm of the clouds in the clear blue sky.
The way the earth seems to move as if alive where the water approaches the sand.
Even if I never come back here, I will always have this moment. I'm finally realizing that is enough.