Artist, Writer, Woman, Mother, Healer, Teacher, Biohacker, Gardener, Friend, Entrepreneur
I miss the ocean. When I look outside and see trees stripped bare of leaves and frost on the grass I want nothing more than to be oceanside, my blubbery ass shaking as I walk down the sandy beach and listen to the glorious sound of waves crashing. I want to feel the warm sun heating my cheeks, searing my flesh as I let the salty water soothe and heal me, negative ions pulsing in rhythm with my heartbeat. Instead, I just scream a little inside and know the soft fluffy white stuff, the sheets of black ice and the joy that is Michigan winter is not far off.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Michigan and the seasonal change that comes with it. I just love the ocean more and it has been far too long since I have been able to plumb its depths. It’s in my mind again today because I spoke with my Aunt Carol last night. She lives in California and was talking about how lovely the beach was, and how my cousins had gone paddle boarding. I could feel my toes curling over imaginary sand and the longing grew deep.
I remembered my morning runs along the Atlantic when I lived on Nantucket, the day the current was so strong at Cisco Beach that my one piece suit came off in the waves when I was knocked from my surfboard. I remembered the lush landscapes of Cape Perpetua in Oregon when I dipped my toes in the Pacific for the first time after driving cross country alone. I remember the fierce majesty of Thor’s Well. I miss the ocean because it reminds me of a time I was wild and free and it holds that precious part of my heart like a message trapped in a bottle waiting to be read.
The last, and only, time I visited my Aunt in Cali was when I was twelve and my parents took me. I’d love to take my children there. I just haven’t been able to afford to go back since then. It is my hope that I get out to California before her passing as I didn’t make it before my Uncle Bill’s – another reason to scream. I always wanted to see California through his filters because like me, he didn’t find solace in God but he did seem to find a kindred spirit in the ocean.
So when I got off the phone last night, I pulled out a painting I’d started many moons ago and I completed it. I may not be able to journey to the ocean. I may not be able to stop Mother Earth from covering my lands in a fluffy white blanket that does anything but warm.
I may not do everything I want to do before my own passing, but what I can do is let the waves of emotion flow from my hands onto the page, rippling out of me and around me providing the comfort of warm salty water as tears fall in frustration and then acceptance. I can always find the beauty in struggle. That fierce opening of my heart allows me to remain wild and free.