In a couple of days we’ll be headed west to visit friends, family…and the ocean. I feel a sense of calm just thinking about the sound of the water crashing against the rocks and the smell of the seaweed.
I was primarily raised inland on a ranch in the hot central valley of California and I’ve often thought about how lucky I was to live between two great habitats, the sea and the mountains. But although we probably visited the mountains more frequently than the coast, it was that endless expanse of water that filled my young heart with joy. Our family trips to the beach were the highlight of the summer. We didn’t do a lot of swimming and I don’t recall my parents ever lying on the sand trying to turn brown. We were already brown from hours spent in the fields. No…we spent our time exploring, finding pretty rocks, collecting shells, looking for starfish. We ate lunch on a blanket and then climbed huge boulders while Mom shouted “Be careful!”
Gary’s experience with the ocean was a bit different. His family spent more time on boats and went deep sea fishing. His father spent many years in the Navy both on the water and under it in a submarine. Gary also spent time in the Navy. He owned a sailboat when we first met and introduced me to the serenity of sailing.
We shared our love of the water with our children and took them to the coast as often as we could. Like my own parents we encouraged them to explore and collect and discover. And yes, I often shouted at them to be careful. Some things are just meant to be repeated.
I have grown to love Oklahoma and to appreciate another habitat- the prairie. I have no desire at this point to live anywhere else. But my soul sometimes longs for a horizon filled with water. So next week there will be a reunion…me with the sea.