Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

31 Aug

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea. – Isak Dinesen

Feet in the Mediterranean Sea

My feet in the Mediterranean Sea at night. The water was cold, but relaxing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a fish out of water. I love being in the water. And to be honest, I’m not sure where this love for the water came from. I can count the number of times I’ve been to the ocean on one had as I have always lived in the mid-west USA…no oceans close by, and no, The Great Lakes don’t count.

The first  time I saw the ocean I was about four years old and I went on vacation with my grandparents to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins who were living in one of the Carolinias at the time. Since I was so young, I really don’t remember much. I’ve been told about the trip and seen pictures but that’s not the same.

I wouldn’t return to the ocean until I was 11 years old during a family vacation to Florida. I remember splashing in the waves and wondering if there were any sharks around (I had this weird fascination with sharks, and I guess on some level they still fascinate me today – but not enough to participate in Shark Week, go figure.)

Up to this point in my life I have only seen the Atlantic Ocean, but that would change with a visit to Northern California when I was 14 years old. I had this image of the beach: hot sand, beautiful rolling ocean waves and the cute surfers – everything I’d ever seen in the movies I wanted to see in real life. Can you imagine my shock when I was informed that was what the beaches in SOUTHERN California looked like. Here’s what we saw:

A beach in Northern California, Pacific Ocean It was so cold in late June that we had on hoodies and long pants! WHAT?! Too cold to swim, too cold to surf, too cold to do anything but dip your toes in quickly just to say you had. But then, when the water comes down from Alaska, that’s about all you can do.

And then finally, FINALLY, I made it out of the country in 2007, at the age of 18, and I found myself on one of the beautiful beaches of Costa del Sol in southern Spain at sunrise.

Costa del Sol, Spain at sunrise I was in Spain as part of a school trip during Spring Break my senior year of high school. A friend and I woke up a couple of hours before sunrise, “snuck” out of our hotel (we didn’t much care for the teacher who was chaperoning and she didn’t seem to care too much what we were doing as her husband and son were also on the trip, so we were kind of left on our own and took full advantage of it) and walked the 3 or 4 blocks to the beach in the dark.

The view was breathtaking. The colors indescribable and believe me when I say the above picture does not do the actual view justice. It was so peaceful sitting on the beach in the early morning hours. We watched that little fishing boat, listened to the waves and soaked in the beauty. As I sat there, it was easy to let go of everything, to stop thinking and just be – be happy, be calm, be at peace for just a few precious moments, while all around us the city was waking up.

I can’t explain the connection I have with the ocean. I love the rhythmic sound of the rolling waves, the call of the seagulls, the song of the whales and dolphins. Maybe it’s because it’s unpredictable, one moment the water is calm and serene, the next hostile and punishing, a mighty power that seems to come from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. The color is intriguing – deep blues, turquoise, teal and crystal clear. It holds stories, secrets and mysteries in its depths, and wonders we are only beginning to uncover. It’s another world from the one we live in – oh how I long to be a mermaid sometimes just so I could explore and discover what’s really down there. I see the ocean as a reminder that things aren’t always as they appear on the surface – danger or beauty could be closer at hand than the casual observer realizes. It’s learning to recognize the difference that will determine your success and survival.

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5 Responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea”

  1. Heather September 4, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    Yes the Great Lakes do count – they are AMAZING! Fresh, clean, clear water! 21% of the world’s surface fresh water contained in 94,250 square miles. I love and miss the 3rd Coast!

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