My Personal Oasis…
Early, warm, sticky summer mornings make me feel alive. Catching a glimpse of the bright fireball of sun rising and illuminating the sky, is a pure, peaceful energy that excites me from my sandy toes to my salty lips. At this moment overlooking God’s pool and taking in all the beauty, I am perfectly content.
Seaside Park, New Jersey, has been my favorite getaway destination to spend my summers for as long as I can remember. The ocean, every store, ice cream shop, and my friend’s houses are all within a one mile radius of my home. The feeling of independence I gained each day as a child made it feel as though I was halfway across the world. Even now at eighteen years old, I still feel invincible as I peddle my bike as fast as I can down Ocean Avenue, with my legs pumping hard, sometimes so hard that my rusty chain falls off the track.
The ocean, beach, and old wooden pier that stretches into the bay at Fifth Avenue are geographically close, but in my mind, are two different worlds. While the bay was calm and secure when I was younger, the ever changing ocean is more indicative of my life today. Anticipating what the beach and ocean will look like each morning, emphasizes the glass-half full, level headed, and independent person in me. A college campus is similar to the beach. The surroundings can vary day to day like the tides. Whether the tide is high or low, or the ocean is rough or calm, I will stay positive for myself and those around me.
Being “close” to the ocean has taught me valuable lessons such as the appreciation of our great planet and the respect I have for it in its entirety. The ocean may look beautiful and calm, but there is a lot more than meets the eye. I have learned to study it, be prepared, and make an informed decision before I jump in.
Whether I am waiting for the sun to rise at 6:00 am or the sun has set and the ocean waves are not visible, my feelings about my personal oasis are never altered. One can either choose to see the sunrise as an end to what once was, night, or, how I envision it, a fresh start to a brand new exciting summer day. The new beginnings, new friends, and new challenges at college will be ever changing, yet exciting and fulfilling, like my personal oasis.
This place has grown to hold a very special place in my heart. Its beauty can only be upheld by donations of those who appreciate it as much as I do. The non-profit organization “The Friends of Island Beach State Park” are committed to educating others to keep the beaches of Seaside Park beautiful and restore them to what they once were. “Through countless volunteer hours and the selfless donation of your hard-earned money, we strive to continue to delivering public education to the preservation of Island Beach State Park!” (www.friendsofibsp.org) #jerseystrong