This is a little something I’ve been working on for the past week or so. Growing up on a lake in the Pacific Northwest has instilled in me a love for all things water. I love swimming, floating, riding, and frolicking in water – whether it be fresh or salt. I particularly love the sea. I love the sound of waves on the shore, the taste of salt, the power present in each wave. It’s something that never ceases to thrill me and make me feel alive, regardless what corner of the globe I’m in. So here’s this, a bit of writing about a moment spent with the sea:
The wave breaks with a muted crash; a liquid crescendo peaking then fading to a quiet murmur until the next begins. The water is cold and sparkles in the light of the setting sun. Vibrant blues and greens curl into a pure white foam that rushes to shore with each surge of the sea. I sit on the edge of a rock – a pitted and rugged remnant of a volcano’s fury – and slip my feet into the ocean’s embrace. A contented sigh slips between my lips.
The next wave comes and the water sloshes up my calves. Bits of kelp whip past my legs, forward and back, subject to the fickle whims of the waves. A solitary crab tumbles past, legs and claws flailing wildly in a futile effort to gain purchase in the endlessly shifting sand. As it rights itself and seeks shelter under the abandoned shell of a moon snail, I feel the tug of a smile on my face.
The wind gusts, whipping through my hair and across my skin. Its cool caress is soft, yet insistent – my skin prickling at its touch. Above me, an osprey pinwheels in the sky, keen eyes searching the translucent shallows below. With a screech, it folds its wings and drops; plummeting with reckless abandon to snatch a gleaming, wriggling perch from the water. The raptor beats its wings once, twice, and takes to the skies with the ocean’s bounty – droplets of water flicking this way and that as they catch stray rays of sun like diamonds scattered to the wind. I let myself stare in open wonder at the sight.
I take my feet from the water, clasp my knees to my chest, and breathe in deep; the smell of the sea filling my senses. It smells of salt, sand, and life itself; mingled into a cocktail that is like a balm to the soul. The sun is beginning its quickening descent past the line of the mountains, lighting the cloud-dotted sky in brilliant hues of purple, orange, and blood red. It seems only moments before it is reduced to a burning sliver of fire, then only a memory. But not for long. I sit with the confidence that it will break over the horizon behind me with the advent of the coming day, as this world maintains its elegant spin through the heavens in an eternal cycle. The cycle of life: always turning, always beautiful, never the same. One more day, one more sunrise, one more wave. I smile and dip my feet back into the water. One more time.