I remember the first time I fell in love with Ocean. I fell in love with the Ocean during the night. I was sixteen when my friend and I went to Ocean City, Maryland for a long weekend during spring break in high school.
We walked the boardwalk, kids handing out Mardi Gras beads in the summer heat thinking they were older than they were. Lost souls looking for a place to call home roaming, trying to find a place for themselves. Me so naïve and young then.
After walking most of the day, we sat on a bench as it started to get late. My friend has an easy manner and made friends easily. Me not so much. She chatted with a few people that passed by, while I just sat and listened. At one point a midst all the chatter, I heard it and once I did I couldn’t focus on anything else.
It was dark and I couldn’t see it but I could hear it. I could smell it. The Ocean. It’s vastness seemed so much more immense in the dark of night, I could not see where it started or ended but I heard the waves rhythmically crash over and over. I smelled the salt, the seaweed, the wetness. In the dark, it seemed welcoming and dangerous. It’s darkness alluring but also frightening.
I was sixteen when I fell in love for the first time. While people talked and laughed I sat listening, watching, experiencing this phenomenon that was so much greater than myself. I sat there until sunrise mesmerized by my environment, engulfed in the melodious sounds of the Ocean. I remember the morning rays reflecting on the water surface. The sand turn from something dark and cold to something warm and golden. The morning glowed with warmth turning the beach into something bright and sparkling.
I am still in love with the Ocean. I marvel and wonder at its infinite treasures. Marvel in my ability to appreciate its depth. Knowing I may never truly understand or know its secrets. Respecting both its giving and destructive nature. Maybe in being near it, I am also being pulled by something innate that is part of my own nature. A connection to something that is much larger than ourselves.