Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Come Sea. Comme Ça.

That's exactly how I felt last Thursday after a scorching hot day that kept dragging out like the Kate & Leo version of Titanic (did it really need to be so long?), and then something changed. A breeze came through my window carrying with it that certain bite only sea air can bring to revive you on days like that. It also brought that familiar smell of the beach ... you know the one that smells like sea plants, and the inside of a clam shell, and as I followed the breeze backward to its origin I was met with the moody, clouds that looked like they'd been colored with octopus ink from Oregon that we were promised earlier in the day. Even though I don't think we actually got the lightning we were warned about, there's that undeniable energy in the air that always comes with clouds that puffy, and that dark, and that's when I thought to myself: Come sea. Just like that.

You know the people who visit their family's motherland, like the rolling, green, velvety hills of Ireland, and instantly feel as though they've belonged to the land their entire lives, and have finally come home? That's how I've come to feel about the sea. I've loved a good romp on the beach since childhood, but it's becoming more apparent that it's much less of a preference to be near it, and more of a pull you feel deep inside and can't control, but can only be aware of. As long as I can smell the sea, and feel its air on my skin, and hear it, and be close enough to visit it on a whim, I'll be home.

Maybe it's the Viking in me that makes me crave fjords, and foggy days, maybe it's something in my name that makes me feel a connection to the deep colors of the sea and its sky when they have their conjoined mood swings (maybe those mood swings and mine make me think I understand her), but I love her every way ... yes in a box with a fox, but definitely not wearing socks. Whether I'm dunking my toes into the always chilly salt waters of the North, or night swims in what feels like bath water in Mexico's Pacific splashing around in its glowy phosphorus, or holding in your hands, if only momentarily, the colors of the Caribbean that you think could only possibly exist in illustrated story books (and in the carpet my mother let me pick out for my bedroom as a kid), or standing at the very narrow tip of an island in the Northern Atlantic at sunset watching a sound meet an ocean like each roll of the waves is the slightly overly aggressive handshake at an interview, I'm home.

It's funny when it takes the smallest thing like the tiniest blow of a breeze before a storm to make you finally realize something that's always been there.