What is it about the sea ... and leaving it behind?

I did not grow up near the ocean, in fact, I did not even get my toes in a salty surf for the first time until I was 12 years old. Atlantic City with my grandparents. And I do believe, on that day, the salt, the waves, and the sand kidnapped my very soul and have held it hostage ever since. Perhaps in a giant conch shell.

I cannot say with one exact word what draws me to the beach. Peace. Serenity. Infinity. Escape. Surrender. There are so many reasons to describe why I go. Why I crave feeling my feet lapped in the waves. Why I hunger for its treasures. Why I mourn for months until I go back.

Just returned from one of my favorite places on earth ~ Sanibel Island in Florida. One week that flew by. One week of endless shelling on a beach that never fails to deliver on its promises. Treasures for the hunters. Quiet for those needing a mental break. Storms so filled with passion and fury you cannot help but re-energize in their power. Warm sand. Occasional seaweed snagged between your toes. A stingray or two popping up near you and then darting away. One or two large snooks passing by. School and schools of fish by the thousands swirling nearby. A sharp penshell lost in the murk of a rough sea day that slices a painful gash in your second toe. Homemade key lime pie.

Mostly, I believe this beach is the one place where I can go and just be me. The waters do not discriminate. They do not charge a fee for taking treasures. There is karma here. An unspoken relationship one builds with the sea. You marvel at its live creatures and carefully put them back and you are rewarded with some empty shells that are spectacular a thousand times over. You actually stop and take the time to refresh in your mind that endless gratitude for your life and its blessings ~ those things that go by back in your other world of constant chaos, challenge and sleepless nights.

Life is clearly simple on the beach.

Twice a day it refreshes itself with a high tide that clears out everything. Here your footprints are fleeting. You were here. A second later, you were gone. Much like life.

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