Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Breathing deep, pelican-style

I know. I know. It's bad.

I remember last year when my dear friend Mikaela was visiting and we were sitting at the table talking about the grand balancing act of life. "What do you let slide?," she asked. "What's the thing you let go to make the rest of it work?" At the time, I was still valiantly doing (or trying) 100% of everything at a little less than 100% - a juggler extraordinaire. Fast-forward a year later to third trimester me, working her butt off more than ever before, and I know in a second what my answer is: what I let slide is this. The blog, the creative release, the connections outside of my daily world. And I hate it, but sometimes, something's gotta give. Sometimes getting through the day takes every single ounce of what you have. Those aren't bad days, don't misunderstand me. Just very full ones, squeezed into very full weeks, squeezed into very full months.

So let's backtrack a bit, to that vacation we took that one time.

It was grand.

Some time ago I decided that the pelican is my spirit animal. Keep in mind that back in college I remember a discussion with my best gals where we voted me the lioness. So how does a lioness become a pelican? For one, she gets really tired. But what she really does is prioritize peace and quiet and relaxation above all else - above the hunt, above the kill, above the self-satisfied licking of chops. Pelicans have it going on.

The day is this: soaring above the water, sometimes alone, sometimes in a pack, sometimes with a partner. Diving in for food. Floating around. Soaring again. Water, wind, sun, air. Soaring. Diving. Floating. Repeat.

Doesn't that sound pretty magical? I'm pretty sure it's my life goal.

So on our return to our wedding locale, I spent a lot of time sitting and watching pelicans. And it made me so, so happy.

Beach. Pool. Read. Swim. Relax. Sun. Just what I needed at 28 weeks pregnant.

We were out swimming one day and the most miraculous thing happened. We were in the ocean fairly deep, and the water was just glittering with sunshine all around us. Suddenly, maybe 20 yards away, an enormous ray leapt out of the water, flapped its wings, and dove back in. I'd never seen one before. The wingspan was at least six feet wide, and it was miraculous. And right there.

I'm such an ocean girl, and I think Baby H might be, too. I hope she is, anyway. I love the thought of teaching her the fine art of beach lounging, the fun of wave-bopping, and the magic of breathing in that air. I hope she feels the same way about the Outer Banks that I do.

We took that vacation too late, and I swear we needed another one immediately after, but the important thing is that we got it in at all. No small feat these days.


  1. So, Maggie- my college friends voted a lioness as my spirit animal as well. Somehow I am not surprised we share this. Although, a pelican now sounds quite lovely. . . when I lived in Africa I longed to be a hippo, and wallow in the water with wallow breaks only to eat.

    I am so glad that you are letting go of what is unnecessary, and hunkering down to get ready for that sweet girl. Thank you for the update and a check in. I can't believe you will be a mama so soon.

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