Monday night before we moved my heart was in desperate need of something familiar, yet, special. I had spent part of my day in the town where I grew up, saying goodbyes to people and places alike and snapping two Polaroids of places that would always hit the mark when I think of home. Saying goodbye to one of these places left me teary eyed with a sort of hollowness rattling in my chest. It was one of my most cherished childhood memories and it now sits abandoned and vandalized. I don’t know what the future holds for it or if it will be standing when I go home again. The feeling of loss left me in need of something uplifting. As I was packing that night the perfect trip came to me and I went to bed extra early.
I awoke at 4:30am Tuesday morning, grabbed my cameras and jumped in my car. I drove South on the parkway as purple began to streak the night sky. I got into Asbury around 6:00am and met the rising sun as he sleepily rose above the ocean’s horizon. I held my breath as he crested and watched until he was well above the ocean, only a matter of minutes. I spent a few hours there on the empty boardwalk, breathing in the salty ocean air and enjoying the quiet. I walked through the historic buildings that the City of Asbury Park is working to restore. I felt calm for the first time in weeks.
As the sun continued to climb higher still into the sky, I climbed back into the car to drive home and begin the process of packing the truck. I felt rejuvenation that only the sun can provide and an ease that the ocean is always able to cast over me. I felt happy that a place that I have loved so much throughout my life, is getting a second chance.
By noon I desperately wanted a nap, but I wouldn’t have done anything different on that morning nor traded the feelings that washed over and held me all the day long for sleep.