Ever since I can remember, I have loved and admired the tranquility of the ocean. My childhood summers were spent alongside my family on vacation and I cannot recall a single summer where I didn’t spend at least one weekend listening to the waves lap against the shore. As a little girl I would spend entire days picking sand dollars out of the tide pools, drawing pictures in wet sand and chasing crabs from underneath their rocks. Evenings were either spent jumping barefoot across sun bleached driftwood in search of the perfect sea shell or curled up in a beach towel watching the sunlight play along the horizon before its final descent.
As a young child, I lost myself at the beach. Minutes, hours and days were irrelevant because a child measures their days by substance and not by seconds. Our childhood marks a time when we didn’t need to be mindful to stay in the moment because it was as natural as our breath. But as we slide further into the responsibilities of adulthood, we lose our balance of where we are standing. In a desperate attempt to find our footing we tend to rest one foot on the past and the other on the future. In this torturous balancing act we forget what it’s like to forget and just be. I long for the simplicity of a day spent by the ocean as a kid. When it wasn’t a struggle to stay present, when my mind was clear and played freely in it’s environment. These countless summer days by the cool salty air have rooted themselves deep in my memory.
What once may have started as the inevitable curiosity of a young child towards water, became a life long love for the ocean that I have yet to figure out. The interesting thing about memories is that they intertwine with so many of our physical senses. In a moment of true and utter happiness, we are subconsciously drawn to the sights, the smells, the sounds, or the physical feel of our surroundings. Subconsciously it must be our minds way of attempting to write the blueprints of that moment in order to duplicate the feeling again one day.
Is my love for the ocean solely a nostagic tie to my childhood happiness? Or is it the ocean itself that has always created a sense of contentment in my soul. Maybe it’s the open space that calms my mind, the grounding I feel when I dip my toes into the cool water or the steady soothing of the waves. It imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is scattered and confused. It is at the same moment when I feel the salty waves lap against my back that I also feel a wave of peace wash over my mind. But I don’t question this peace anymore. I don’t need to figure out why it grounds me to the point of complete bliss. I simply have learned to embrace it.
We all need to find something that makes us lose ourselves. We live with our faces buried in technology in hopes of finding happiness through a screen. We have forgotten the simplicity of what nature has to offer us. Nature is restoring in the most primitive sense. We all have somewhere that calms us….. something that restores us, something that we get lost in. Maybe it’s sitting under a sun dappled tree, lying in an open field watching the skies dance or taking a walk through the dense forest. Or for me…..near the water. So if you need me….
I’ll be lost at sea.
To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude. ~Jeanne Moreau