Inquisitive seagull

This time last year, as a way of dealing with a mid-dissertation/identity crisis, I flew alone from Boston to San Francisco in search of beaches and a week of solo hiking. Call it an Edna Pontellier-style gesture, but something told me that only the ocean could salve a soul that no longer wanted to strive toward a destination–the doctorate–that I’d been struggling toward for nearly a decade. As I’ve explained before, it was there in California, in the hills and along the coast north of San Francisco, that I found the strength to return to Boston and then New Hamsphire to face my life and ultimately finish the dissertation. But Lord knows that wasn’t a smooth path.

Edge of land & sea

This year I don’t have time to hop on a plane to San Francisco, so today I’m not hiking the Laguna Trail to sit on Santa Maria Beach, part of the lovely Point Reyes National Seashore. Instead, I’m driving my thoroughly doctoral self (woo-hoo!) down to Massachusetts, where I’ll meet my friend A (not her real initial, of beer and burritos fame) to drive together down to Crane’s Beach in Ipswich, MA. Yep, we’re beach-bound, baby: I don’t know if we’ll have beer and burritos at the end of the day, but you can bet we’ll have some good conversation, a lot of laughs, and a good long walk, as we have before. It’s fine and good to cocoon, but sometimes even a pupa needs to crawl out of her shell for a little sand and sun.