It was a different kind of Halloween. There were no costumes or trick or treaters. There was only the chocolate in my Mocha Latte and incantations we murmured to stave off rain. We drove until the air changed, until we could smell the ocean heavy in the wind. We parked and joined the line of beach combers down for the weekend. I took pictures of families taking pictures of their family and of the sea foam capturing tiny rainbows in the gathered bubbles. A raven followed me down the sand and I hooked my arm through his, my father’s, and wished to be nowhere else in the world but there, with the sand and sea ruining my shoes and the waves chasing us down the beach.
We climbed up a cliff and searched through binoculars for puffins on the rocks. There was an abundance of caterpillars diligently crossing the trail from one side to the other and we waited patiently for their journey, needing nowhere else to be. For every little brown and black creature that I urged to crawl into my hand, I found a piece of myself unfurl inside me. Something that had been clenched tightly for so long becoming loosened, letting the air in. I set them down off the path, safe from harm and gave a silent thank you to the caterpillars, to my father, to the sea and to the world for making this holiday that I dreaded better than anything I could ever have hoped for.
For healing me one step, one laugh, one arm-in-arm walk at a time.