I would like to introduce you to Vanessa. She is a Yogist, and for weeks, I’ve watched her on her little towel slowly contorting her body in rhythm with the Sunrise. She always seemed so peaceful yet, with every move she made, I cringed in pain. This morning I was in the mood to strike-up a conversation. We had spoken before but only briefly. Today, I wanted to know more about her.
I made my way through the sand and stood beside her waiting for her to finish her last stretch. “Hi Vanessa. I’m not sure you remember me but I wanted to say hello.” I was obviously a little nervous but I think she could sense that… “Hello Woody, how is your visit this morning?” I breathed a sigh of relief and began to feel more confident about speaking with her. I’m not quite certain what it was but I somehow felt very comfortable around her.
Knowing it would be a huge mistake, I asked if she wouldn’t mind showing me a few ‘moves.’ Sadly for me, she agreed. “You haven’t got a towel Woody, you’re going to get pretty sandy!” This, of course, I already knew but thought this would be the best approach to getting her to open-up to me. We began my lesson.
Shortly after a few snaps and crackles in my body, I caved. “Phew… I’m getting pretty tired Vanessa! I think I’m going to have to take a break from all this rest and relaxation.” She laughed and told me I did well for a beginner. Here it was… here was my opening! After all, I’ve made her laugh and played her game. She was sure to give-in to me now!
I began telling her about what I liked doing on these mornings. I explained how I enjoyed meeting new people, hearing about things they do and writing about them on my web site. I told her about Jack, Brian and Jeannie along with others, and all the tales they gave me. I wanted to know her story. “What brings you here every morning Vanessa? What peace do you find at the Sunrise?”
She looked down at the sand and was quite for a moment. I was hoping I didn’t upset her and that she didn’t think I was some kind of pervert wanting to know her deepest, darkest secrets. I was only curious. She looked back at me, smiled and said “Can I tell you a story Woody?” Yes! I’ve got her! She’s all mine now! I brushed the sand from my jeans and sat eagerly beside her. I grabbed my phone and asked her if she wouldn’t mind if I recorded our little conversation. She agreed and I turned on my voice-recorder.
I was completely taken aback at how she began… “This is a story about my beach-friend Woody.” Oh no, this wasn’t going to be good! I had to pause my recorder. “Whoa, hold on there Vanessa! I’m not sure this will be such a good idea. I mean honestly, you really don’t even know me!” She raised two fingers to my lips and, with her other hand, pointed to my phone. “Woody, I just would like to tell you what I see.” Coyly, I turned the recorder back on and awaited my thrashing.” She began…
I know how you Love your stories Woody but so do I. You said you’ve been watching me for weeks. I just wanted you to know, I’ve been watching you too and I’d like to share what I think I know of you…
You’ve been saddened. Something in your life has brought you pain and you seek comfort here along the shore… and I do believe you find it! I think it may be a Love lost or broken as I’ve seen the tears on your cheek as you rose from your knees.
You’re a Loving man. I see dedication in your heart as your compassion surrounds your very being. Anyone who watches you can see this… you’re hiding nothing from anyone here.
You’re either very religious or quite spiritual. I’ve seen you bow your head in prayer and point your finger towards the Sun. You’re obviously dedicating something to someone… and you do it from your knees, bowed in reverence.
You are very dedicated to your beliefs. I have been here on the mornings where our day began with rain. I sat, on the covered boardwalk behind you as you continued your rituals… undaunted by the rain and not in fear of the lightning accompanying the storm. Who does that Woody?! You’re either a complete fool or your utter dedication is your motive. I choose to think the latter.
You are kind. I’ve watched you talk to others. I have seen the way you stare in their eyes and hang on every word. I’ve watched you touch their shoulder or their hands as if to say ‘I’m here for you.’ I can only imagine the comfort you bring them.
You are respectful. I have seen you gather garbage on the beach. You’ve carried many a handful of trash to the containers along the shore. This is clearly respect for Mother Nature and all that surrounds you.
You are still a man. Every morning I watch you here and witness your prayers and homage to whomever it is you speak to… you’re always clad in your biker clothes. You wear your leather vest, little biker gloves and sunglasses perched upon your head even in the pouring rain. I am only guessing that this is just your attempt at still proving your man-hood. You think by wearing these things, others may not see your compassionate side and how it rules your heart. It isn’t working Woody… no more disguises! Be who you are.
As you might imagine, I was in tears by now. Who in God’s great name was this woman giving me the third degree while exposing my innermost feelings?! I wasn’t quite sure but had to admit, she had me down and clearly saw right through me. I have been humbled.
We continued our talk for a while longer. We sat, side by side, and created stories about others along the beach. We laughed, cried a little and knew when it was time to leave. She told me of ‘her friend’ at home waiting for her and I knew exactly what that meant. I didn’t want to keep her any longer so we bid our farewells and went our separate ways.
As I mounted my bike I glanced back towards Vanessa. Before getting in her car she smiled at me one more time, raised her finger to the Sun and blew a kiss at the Sea. I knew what her intentions were and nodded my head in thanks. She then drove off as I sat just a little longer staring at the Sun. I then spoke… not to myself but aloud for any of my Angels to hear…
“Thank you. Thank you for my morning lesson and what she taught me here today. If this woman, a complete stranger, could see so transparently through me, I now know… others know my heart as well. I will do as she has asked and try not to hide my emotions as they are… simply who I am.”