For me, one of the silver linings of the pandemic has been joining my writing groups. I have taken a number of classes with Hugo House and have formed friendships and groups with people I have never met in person, yet I tell them everything about my life. In our group this weekend, we were given a prompt about the last time we did something. As we get closer to spring break, I wrote about the last time I was at the ocean…
The last time I was at the ocean was only a few months ago, but it feels like ages. Yes, I have been to the water and technically the Puget Sound is part of the ocean, but the real ocean is the beach and the waves and the open air and sand that seems to go forever.
I get to go back in a few weeks, a little get away to the house at the beach. The drive can be long, but these days traffic is less. After a few hours we finally turn off for the last twenty miles, the curvy road with evergreens on either side. As we get closer, I can feel the stress lifting. That last turn until we get to our town, I can see the ocean. As we pull into our tiny beach community, my daughter says to me, “You can exhale now, Mom.”
Heading down the huge staircase that leads to the water. Once the path is clear, one of us darts ahead and we let the dog barrel down the stairs to find his freedom on the sand. Seeing our canine family member have so much freedom, running fast, herding us all up together, splashing in the waves and chasing the birds. That is my perfect day at the beach.
With clouds in the sky, sun shining or even sideways wind blowing, it will always be my happy place. Running on the beach or strolling casually, the inhale of the fresh sea air fills my soul. It’s the recharge I always need to pull me back to the ground, get out of my head and be present in the moment.
The ocean has a power that I respect. Never turn your back to the ocean, I tell my girls. The waves come and go, sometimes in sets, sometimes sporadic, but they always come in and go back out. The sound is soothing, the rush of the white water as it floods towards us, the pull as it heads back out to sea. Back and forth it goes. Always reliable. Always there. Steady.