The first time I saw the ocean, I couldn’t stop searching the horizon or watching the waves crash on shore. When I first galloped into the ocean and dove under, the salt pushed into my mouth and I came up spitting and wiping at the salt I felt sticking to my body. The vastness of the ocean is incredible. The sheer size of it is mind boggling. I remember dipping my toes into it and feeling so small. Like compared to this giant home to thousands of creatures, my tiny self was just a fraction of the life touching the waves, the smallest touch of the most grand piece of this world.
Now, not all of these words came to mind, but it gives you a sense of how that first encounter with the sea went. That was in 2012.
I have been lucky enough to go back to the ocean and it felt, in the strangest way, like I belonged there. Like I was meant to have this vast mystery somewhere close to me. Now, I am not usually super philosophical or categorized as a hippie but I swear the ocean knew it had a gravitational pull on me. I can’t even explain how my thoughts just started melding into ideas and my mind cleared from the rubbish that usually poisons healthy thinking. As soon as the waves touched my skin, a calm would sink into me that allowed all of the thoughts to hushed. What does this place have that others do not?
I found myself back by the ocean during spring break in Florida in 2014. As soon as I saw the sea, I got the same building excitement as I walked towards the shore. On a quiet beach with a pier and sea shell treasures, I didn’t want to leave. The moment in which the waves first crashed over my toes, my mind felt at home again. I couldn’t shake the feeling that this is where I would be at my best, mentally. With the ocean for clarity and the waves for cleansing. I did my best thinking there and I felt renewed whenever I would leave the sand. I always wait for my next chance to go back.
It became a goal of mine to set foot in more than just the one ocean my toes had dipped into. In 2015, I was able to experience the Indian Ocean in Thailand. It was incredibly clear and the most brilliant shade of turquoise you could imagine. When you jumped in, you could see a whole different world beneath your toes. I went snorkeling by different islands and witnessed ocean life untouched. I saw Nemos, Doris, sea urchins, rainbow fish, sea cucumbers that were the most royal shade of blue imaginable and so much more. I would swish my feet below me to see how far away these creatures were. Fear spiked inside of me when it seemed as if I couldn’t even extend my full legs. To my surprise, the water was just so clear that they were several feet below me and I couldn’t sense the difference.
The ocean is strong. It is powerful and unpredictable. It can be the subject of a perfect sunset or the sound of a night time lullaby. You see, the ocean can be all of these things and perhaps the potential hidden beneath the surface is the reason I love to be in it’s presence. It’s quiet and it will always be there. The ocean is a place of serenity and where my thoughts will come together. I can’t imagine a better place for solace and I will always look forward to the next time I can dip my toes into the waves again.