these places waiting to be claimed.

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there was this one day in sydney.

nobody knew where i was.
but i was walking along the sea. for a long, long time.
and suddenly the path ended, the fence made you turn around and go back from where you came. i had walked pretty far and wasn’t happy to have to swing a 180 and retrace.

i looked around and saw that about a quarter the way up the sharp cliff was a little nook. a little scoop in the stone that looked perfect for sitting. i glanced around, weighed the option of smashing my head on the rocks if i fell and not trying at all, and started scraping my way up. my little black sneakers quickly saying hello to the dusty, layered rock.

i maneuvered myself into the groove and sighed out loud. i was pretty pleased. i watched as a few other tourists came to the end of the line, looked out for a minute or two, then unquestioningly turned around. had they only known other things could be found if they just went up.

but other than a few tourists, it was just me.

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i sat by the swirling sea and admired all the colors of blue it had picked that day.
i turned my head toward passing birds and stared straight into the sun. 
i sipped away at my orange juice and played song after song after song…

it wasn’t about anything or for anything. i had nowhere to be and no sense of time. it was just one girl, one sea, hanging out.
and when do you ever get to wander around on the other side of the world…to sit in a scoopy cliff…with orange juice and music…with the sea as your rug…and just let the minutes bother someone else?
never.

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i just took my battered travel journal off its shelf to see if i had written anything this day.
sandwiched between postcards and a picture of my grandpa was written a long entry i had written at a restaurant on the other side of the harbor that night. it ended with this:

“how do some young women not crave an adventure of their own? to get out, get lost, get known and put under the light…
this is where you find bits of yourself. in far-flung places, in side streets and unknown corners. as though these places were waiting for you to get there, waiting to be claimed.” 

february 11. 

i think those sentaments are the closest thing i have to a personal hymn. in them is a desire carved onto the palms of my hands.

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3 responses to “these places waiting to be claimed.

  1. God, this is a beautiful post. So well-written and so true. I love those moments when you feel like you are the only person on this earth and everything seems calm and quiet. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. danielle – that quote is so so so good.

    so excited to talk tomorrow!!!!

    xo

  3. and by tomorrow i mean…friday!

    whoops!

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