Sunday, August 12, 2012

Melancholia

Once, when I was in Ohio (where there are no beaches anywhere near, unless you count Lake Erie, which I don't) I was pretending to be at the beach. I put beachy music on in the car, looked up only at the deep blue sky, and felt the breeze. I was telling someone about this, and I said, "If I close my eyes and listen hard enough, I can almost hear the ocean."

They said, "Um, you can't hear the ocean from here. It's too far away."

.....

Yeah, I know, thanks for a) not understanding imagery and
                                                    b) ruining the fantasy.


Well, after over a year of living in California, I finally made it to the beach last weekend.  A friend and I drove to Malibu, plunked our stuff down on the white sand, and breathed deeply the ocean air.  The Pacific Ocean is of the bluest blue, beautiful, and it is, in a word, frigid.  I could waste away staring at the ocean, the ebb and flow. But from the warmth of the beach, not while in the ocean itself. I can't believe people actually swim in it. But I guess, if that's all you know, you just do it.




The Atlantic Ocean, however, is warm. It has a more greyish hue, more restless somehow. Especially off New England. I love to walk along the shore and pick up shells and feel the ocean tug and pull at my feet. Come to me, it says. Its what I grew up with. We didn't live close to the beach, but because my parents liked to go, we went fairly often during the summers. Although I never actually spent much time in the ocean itself, I love going to it. When your destination is 'the ocean' it makes traveling more like a pilgrimage. I will come to you, and lay on your shores, and stare at you with longing until my eyes can't stay open anymore. I feel like I am always trying to get there, some place in the depth of my being.


It was good to get to the beach, with a friend. But I will always and forever be an east coast girl, and I will always long for my grey, restless sea.


2 comments:

  1. I was tremendously disappointed when we visited Hubby's family in the UK & that beautiful N Atlantic was FREEZING COLD!
    (I'm a Texas Gulf Coast girl myself)

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  2. I agree. There's something about the Atlantic, and the New England sea, that speaks more of adventure, and brave men going "down to the sea in ships", as it says on the Gloucester statue and in the Bible. I love the sea and hate that I get seasick! :)

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