Daily Archives: January 31, 2015

Undeveloped & Unreal: Camping on the Beach

boca chica sunrise van

It was thrilling to leave the comfort and known of the studio behind.  Just being out on the road felt great. There is something especially stirring when the road is one’s home. When there is no place to be. Freedom, with all its unknown potentials, is a wellspring of joy.

I got out here to Boca Chica Beach expecting it to be deserted for the most part, as it was last time. I suppose the sunshine and warm temps is what brought all the people out. There were people fishing, tanning, and just enjoying the summer-like heat on the beach, but the dunes still held the promise of solitude and an incredible 360 deg. view.

After carefully selecting a path through the soft sand so as not to get stuck, I headed a little ways down the beach and found a spot to camp. I spent the day laying in the sun and meditating out in the dunes on my trips to the use the only facilities here. (bring your own t.p. people!  😉

What I love about the beach, especially when you are alone, (not difficult at an undeveloped beach 20 miles from town like this one) is that it is easy to be in a meditative state all day long. The oceans lullaby, the wide open sky…there is a lot to take up one’s awareness. Like the forest, it can quiet the mind.

I decided a campfire would be cool, and despite the absence of any trees, started collecting what pieces of old firewood I could find. I managed to get quite a bag full of driftwood, half-burned pieces of another camper’s fire, and dried out pieces of the brush that grows in the dunes. I saved it all for dusk.

It was a great day. I felt at peace, and so very grateful for the warm sunshine and the breeze. I did not go in the water past my knees, despite wanting to jump in naked under the stars later that night. It was just a bit too cold out, it seemed. I wanted to be warm in my bed in the van, and not get the jersey sheets salty or sandy.

People started leaving by 4, and by 6 o’clock I was alone on the beach. I felt like this huge stretch of beach, with it’s dunes and wide open sky, was my own personal Walden Pond for the night. I was excited, grateful, and very much at peace.

The sunset was unbelievable. Blood red at it’s climax. I am so grateful that moments like these literally call to me. It is hard to explain, but I can be doing something else and suddenly I feel like there is a fleeting moment  there for me to catch. I love the hair-raising awe I feel whenever I heed that voice.  I have goosebumps writing about it now. I love how nature can call me home, connecting me to the profound beauty that is the Universe, that is Love.

boca chica sunset

My jaw was open for much of that sunset, and my heart was full of joy and excitement. I thought of Chris McCandless, (Into the Wild) and what he wrote to Wayne. “ I think I will live this life for quite some time. The beauty and simple joy is too good to pass up.” I felt the same way.

It took some effort, but I got a great campfire going. I called Melissa back after enjoying it alone for a while. I felt sharing it would make it even more special. It did. I love sharing moments I know we both appreciate. She is a treasured connection.

As the sun set fully, the moon and stars took over the stage that was the vast sky.The western sky had a dim orange glow from the city, the rest of the sky was black and deep blue, with the half-moon lighting up the clouds that hung in the eastern sky.

As the night deepened, my excitement and profound gratitude for what I was seeing only continued. I sat by my cozy campfire and enjoyed what looked like a black hole around the moon. It was a lunar halo, when the moonlight and the moisture create a dim rainbow of cloudy color that encircles the moon. Inside that ring it was black, with very few stars visible. Outside the ring the stars burned through the moonlight between a spiderweb of clouds.

It was breathtaking. I laid on my beach chair staring up at, the flickering light of the fire playing tricks on my eyes, causing a few of the stars to appear to wiggle and the moon itself to flicker. A great sunset and now this?! I was felt smiled upon.

Eventually the fire died down, and I went to sleep. There is nothing like being outside all day in the sun and ocean breeze to get one good and tired. My bed in the van was comfy and warm, and the sounds of the surf put me right to sleep.

I woke up to pee a couple times, and had no problem going back to sleep. When I woke up at 5:30 or so, and poked my head outside, my jaw dropped again, and there was no going back to sleep.

The clouds were gone, as was the moon. It has been a long time since I had seen so many stars. I bundled up for the breeze, and took a walk south down the beach. It was especially dark that way, and the stars were everywhere. I had hit the trifecta of night time magic!

All alone on the beach, under a truly breathtaking night sky. It doesn’t get much better than that for this soul. The stars always make me feel expanded, and this was one of the most expansive sights of my life. I wondered for a second if the sunrise would have much color, as I didn’t see many clouds. That thought went quickly…look at how things had gone so far.

I got back to the van and had some water with lemon and cucumber. I started some yoga stretching just as the first inklings of light began to separate sky from sea. As the minutes passed I began to see a cloud bank on the horizon. I smiled. Color was coming. The sun would begin to paint another masterpiece soon.

There is something profound, it has always felt to me, in waking up my body while watching a new day break. It is like attuning the body to the flow of nature. To capture the beauty of dawn with the eyes fills the heart with possiblity and potential. These are the moments it is easy to connect with the Divine. To know peace, and remember who one really is. Gratitude flows over, and there is nothing else to need.

boca chica sunrise me & van

PS. There is a private company called Space X that is beginning construction on a launch pad not far from this oasis of nature, so if you want to see it without that dominating the view to the northwest, get there this year!

Oh, and the second day I couldn’t resist, and jumped in the ocean! The ocean here in January is a couple degrees warmer, it seems, than the beaches in NE in August!

boca chica swim