Even the tiniest waft of Coppertone or the rich and aromatic odor of Ban de Soleil Federal Expresses me to all the beaches I’ve ever been. My nose, exquisitely sensitive, books me on free excursions to some of the sea sides I’ve been the happiest. Unexpectedly, there I am, swimming in a sea of white sand and roaring surf with people I have loved, with people who are no longer here. I can feel the warm sun, the salt on my skin, the taste of beach food.
My sister lives in Hull, on the border of Hingham, near the stunning World’s End and Nantasket Beach. I went down last week, during the umpteenth heat wave, with temps soaring well above 90, to cool down, not so much my body, as my mind.
The ocean has always done that for me. Liquid valium with a soundtrack. The metronome of waves lulls me into the sweetest calm. Is it the steadiness of the surf? is it the white noise? The rock tumbling sound when a wave churns up the sand? Beats me, but what I do know is that those waves and salty water are the panacea for anything that ails me.
Give me the beach. Anytime, anywhere. And as my blood pressure plummets, and my muscles unwind, I throw gratitude, like a rock, into the vastness of the sea that always connects me to myself.