I am most at peace when I’m near a large body of water, preferably an ocean. When I think about it, it’s kind of counterintuitive: the ocean, near land, is in a constant state of chaos. Waves are constantly crashing, dredging up earth and shells and seaweed and other detritus . The tide keeps the water in unrelenting advance or retreat.
Being on the beach is being in a state of constant turmoil. Someone (that’s me) always gets sunburned, despite constant applications of SPF Infinity Plus sunscreen. The sand appears in the strangest and most uncomfortable of places, thanks to the tumultuous wind. There’s always that special someone who smokes nearby. The beach is littered with cracked shells and hard stones that I love to call “nature’s exfoliants” but really just lead to me limping awkwardly. The seagulls and green flies are ruthless.
We spend a week in a shore town during one of the busiest times of the summer; there are too many people, too many cars, too many bicycles, too many runners.
It takes me a least a day and a half, but I can truly relax at the shore. I sit and empty my mind and enjoy the salt air and the sounds of the surf. The anxiety is still there, but the volume is turned way down low. The time goes by so quickly that a week there feels like a long weekend, and I’m filled with intense melancholy when we leave to return to home and to real life. Right now, I’m trying to focus on being thankful we get to spend a week with friends and each other at one of my favorite places every single year.