I watch my mother carry my daughter down to the shoreline to take a walk, her motherly intuition must have told her of my unconscious need for time and space, or perhaps she knows me well enough to know that I am sad. I lay down on the warm sandy earth, and realize just how much I have needed to feel anchored. I no longer have to smile, and I let my jaw muscles relax and I am surprised how much tension I have been harboring in my face. I relax my abdominal muscles as well, and lay my hands by my side, palms facing up. I allow myself to drink in the salty sea air, and relish in the warmth of the sun on my skin. I listen to the rhythmic beating of the waves crashing on the shore, and suddenly I am overtaken by tears of sadness, I cover my face with my daughter's bathing suit and allow the sadness that comes in waves to move through me. I cry because I have chosen to let go of trying to live up to anyone else's expectations of me, I have chosen me first, and I have chosen to reclaim my life as my own. I cry because I have been wounded, I cry because I have finally drawn a line in the sand. I notice the waves of sadness roll through me, and I notice the stillness in between. I look to my left and a sea gull watches the surf, he flies away and I feel the wind beneath his wings. I close my eyes and I imagine my spirit leaving my body and flying out over the water, diving in and out of the ocean, soaring through the air, as free as a bird, I spiral upward toward the sky like a twirling ballerina as I remember the words of my friend- let go, and I do. Waves of sadness roll through me once more as I picture my daughter running, growing up fast. In the far distance I see her flying as free as a bird, and suddenly I feel the pain of inevitable loss that will come with her growing up and leaving the nest, and yet joy and pride in watching her soar. I settle back into my body and realize the sadness has moved through me for now, and I feel lighter, and a smile comes to my lips as I see my mother and daughter approaching, I am renewed.