Friday, February 12, 2010

Dead Fish and Rainbows

No matter where I go or what I'm doing, I try to learn something that will help me in my life. So, during my recent three weeks in Florida, I had three goals. The first was to meet with some readers and bookstores to promote EVENINGS AT THE ARGENTINE CLUB and I'm happy to say that I met this goal and had a great time doing it. Every book store I stopped at carried my book and Florida booksellers were enthusiastic about having books signed and happy to have book marks to distribute.

My second goal was to carve out writing time. This one is always tough when family members are in the same hotel room, but I got a little time to work in the early mornings or late evenings.

My third goal was part of my larger year-long commitment to relax, de-stress and try to enjoy today rather than letting my mind try to juggle 125 things that will be coming up in the next week or two. I did this by starting out my days with a quiet early morning walk on the beach.

On my first day, as I hurried along the shore trying to get the day's walk "in", I noticed all kinds of dead fish, clam shell-looking creatures, and sea trash littering the shore. Something must have happened to wash all this sea life onto the beach. I thought it was bizarre, but what did I know? Maybe it was a regular thing on this beach along the Gulf of Mexico. Later I brought my kids out to see what I'd found. They thought it was both gross and cool to try to figure out what kind of fish they were seeing while carving RIP beside the fish. Besides the kids, the sea gulls were loving life as they gorged themselves. The dead fish didn't seem so bad after seeing it through their eyes.

In the days the followed, I realized that fish washing up on shore was actually not a normal occurance. In fact, in the next two weeks, I never again saw this happen. Each day I'd see something knew. One day I saw hundreds of crabs in their shells washed up, and my kids and I spent my walking time tossing them back into the water. Another day I saw dolphins playing in the distance, another day all kinds of sea gulls and yellow beaked birds with black mohoks and pelicans seemed to have invaded the beach. I started to look forward to getting up to see what I'd see on the beach that day.

The last day I went out was cool and breezy. It had rained hard the night before, but I wanted to enjoy one last walk on the beach before I got on my plane home. As I strolled slowly trying to find my daughter a sand dollar, I looked up and saw the most amazing 180 degree rainbow. With no buildings or mountains like we have here in California to block it, the rainbow stretched out from the water to the beach hotels. I'd never seen such a long, beautiful, bright rainbow, and I was sorry I didn't have my camera to capture it.

As I made my way back to my hotel I thought it was interesting that the first day when I was uptight and stressed with a list of things I wanted to accomplish while in Florida I saw dead fish; and the last day when I was relaxed and happy and looking forward to returning home, I saw a rainbow.

Not that this was a deep lesson for me, but it served as good reminder that every day brings something different and I have to remember to be open to the good and bad that comes my way. Some days will be dead fish days and some days will be rainbow days - LOL. And really, what's wrong with dead fish days? It takes a little more time to appreciate them, but every day is here to teach us something new.

For me, since I'm totally anal and expect everything to turn out perfectly all the time, this was a good, very concrete and visual reminder that the rainbow is on it's way -- even if it comes at the very end of a vacation.



  1. Well said, Julia! Oh, how I can relate to the dead fish days and wanting that rainbow!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip!

    All the best,

  2. It was a very nice trip -- but nice to be home.

    Here's to more rainbow days for you!