Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sea People

I am suspicious of people who say that they aren't beach people, in much the same way that animal people are suspicious of me when it comes to my hesitation with dogs and other pets.

Not liking the beach seems akin to not liking fun, not liking objectively good things. It is a sentiment I cannot fathom. The water has always held me captive, the one place I always want to be, regardless of season, but most painfully during the summer. It offers equal measures of entertainment and relaxation. It's the place I feel most at peace.

As a child, I felt sorry for all non-marine animals, the animals who lived their entire lives sweltering on the savannas or in the jungles without the ability to submerge themselves.  The best animals were, without a doubt, marine mammals because living on land gave them the perspective to truly appreciate being in the water, a perspective not enjoyed by fish, who didn't know how lucky they were.

I'm certain I inherited this sense from my mother, who shutters when uttering the phrase "landlocked." She rushed us to the ocean every chance she got and had us swimming in the bay  during all the times in between. She too seems to feel that life was designed to be lived in the place where the elements meet. It's something primordial, felt as deeply within me as the knowledge of God. And so we find our way back there as often as we can, to dig holes and ride waves and chase flocks of seagulls. We wander the island in search of cold beer and ice cream.  The kids explore by bike. Chickens roam through the yard. Figs get collected and turned to cake. The landscape, bleached and salty, home to twisted trees, whispers stories of pirates and sunken submarines. We keep coming back. To listen. To feel. To submerge.


  1. The Atlantic has such a distinct feel to it compared with the Pacific, so much more peaceful, silky smooth, sandy, warm. No wonder the pirates stashed their treasures in those coves. I can feel it and remember the experience of swimming through those frolicsome waves so vividly when I look at your pictures; I so hope to take my family to the Outer Banks someday! Also, love those lazing cats.And can that be Alamae already playing in the sand?! What? Your children will definitely take after you. Merkids.

  2. I so agree!! We just got back from a beach trip and we can hardly get enough. love the family photo of you - so casual and yet intimate.