Some tension on the flesh-and-blood end had me wanting to bail before dinner, but a cooling-off walk around the block with the closer of my two siblings helped my troubled soul to chill out, and I made a much more graceful exit post-dessert, driving home through bleak streets and grey clouds, attempting to make sense of a sea of emotions and being unable to, venting to God because I don't want to bother anyone on a holiday weekend and He seems to be okay with my salty mouth and aching soul laid bare.
But with a full gas tank and looking so melancholy that even the attendants were trying to cheer me up, I began to drive towards the little bit of golden I could see in the sky, detouring from the route home to the lake when the clouds suddenly became so panoramic and vast and a deep blue-grey swirling over the hemisphere, and a band of golden on the horizon over the white-cap-flecked water, I could see the surf from the exit and knew I could find solace here.
Two of my former softball teammates were hanging out on the pier, people I didn't know very well but we were euphoric under the kaleidoscopic clouds deepening to dusky rose and blazing gold and rich blues over the swirling water crashing into the rocks and over the walkway like the ocean, the wind blowing my hair out as I huddled in a hoodie on the platform, wishing I had my camera, but knowing I'd miss this moment if I ran back to get it. The 1-pixel snapper on the phone and my memory would have to do.
We walked down to the beach, where the surfers were out and the sun set over pools in the sand, as seagulls flew silhouetted into the horizon and the water glided within inches of our feet as the darkness deepened. We walked back and I watched the water swirl some more before heading home, wondering why the turbulence calms me so intensely.