I was 11 the first time I saw the ocean.
I always find that interesting in contrast to the fact that I make my living around things to do with the water and ocean and the amount of time my daughters have spent at the ocean—and neither of them is 11 yet. They have probably made 20 separate trips to the ocean. Some day trips, others longer, but still they have spent an incredible amount of time on the beach.
I do remember that first trip, though. It was to Myrtle Beach. Must have been the summer of 78. A long time ago and a lot has changed since then—for me and Myrtle Beach both. . I remember running into the water the first time, like I had done hundreds of times before into Lake Chaweva where I learned to swim and spent most of my summers. I dived into the water and came up sputtering—SALT!!!!! Ok, not my proudest moment, but it was the first time I had seen the ocean.
Obviously, though, that experience left a lasting impression on me. And today, I can tell when I’ve been away too long. I need some ocean time. I miss the ocean and I like to think the ocean misses me. Ok, I realize that might be a bit much, but spending time staring at the ocean calms me and helps me think.
And then there are days like today, when the pressure of the world away from the ocean intrudes on what is supposed to be my restful time. And how do I react? Help the two most precious people in the world build a sandcastle. Dig and stack and pat and play. Dig and find a sand crab. Listen to the girls squeal and then try to find more.
As I was doing this, I asked myself “Is there some metaphor here? Does the sandcastle’s impermanence mean something? The waves will come and take it away. It will be just a memory, and hopefully a memory in the lives of my girls. Like my splash into the ocean the first time.
But then I rethink and say, no, there is no metaphor here. It’s a sandcastle. Don’t over think it. Relax and have fun..