"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, July 9, 2012

Water, Sweet, Water

Are you an ocean hater? I've met just a few who aren't sea folk: those who aren't swimmers, those who hate their bodies, those who are terrified of sharks, or those who think such idle pleasures are a waste of time perhaps. I am very pleased that my parents-in-law are both big fans of the ocean. They're a lot of fun to share a beach outing with. Truth be told, they are perhaps bigger fans than I am.

I love the ocean, I love water and swimming and the whole outdoor experience. But I have to admit I had to let the ocean in particular grow on me. I grew up away from the coast but a water child all the same. I just have this fresh water stumbling block. I was raised spitting distance from pristine Northern Michigan beaches and spent many, many happy hours of my childhood rolling in the sand or floating on the waves by turns.

I only had one short interaction with the ocean before adulthood, a wonderful overnight camping trip on Assateague Island fueled by our avid consumption of the Misty books (horse lovers unite!). It was a strange meeting: the weird, fishy, salt air, the strangely creeping tidal shore, and all the mysterious shells crunching under our feet. I wasn't sure immediately, what I personally thought about the big body of water in front of us, but I knew I was meant to like it. We stood on the cathedral shore as a family and prayed and sang and I watched my parents close their eyes and feel the surf and watch our faces expectantly for pleased reactions. I liked it.

Now I love a good trip to the beach and I feel kind of honored to be able to raise my children near the pounding ocean froth. I love the horseshoe crabs mating the spring, seeing scallops and mussels arranged like solitaire by my two year old on the sand, and the stiff salt breeze that starts to wrap its arms around you as you get close to the old beach roads. But I have to say, I'm a sweet water girl in my soul of souls. In my inner self I will always cringe about the bitter taste of ocean in my mouth and the sting of it in my eyes, I hate the way your skin feels coated with grime after the salt water dries and truth be told (although I'd never admit it to my boys) I do sometimes think nervously of sharks and jellies and other ocean creatures. I love a tide pool and I think seeing a starfish in person is one of the coolest nature experiences I've ever had but The Great Lakes hold a corner of my heart that can never be replaced. I'm a sweet water girl who has learned to love the sea too.

Its funny to think that my boys will have my opinions in reverse if life keeps on in the same vein. They'll grow up near the sea, know the salt water and feel at home in it and they'll visit sweet water and feel its strange bright smell and think its a little off....a little off but nice nonetheless. And I hope they find they have two watery corners of their hearts too.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment