Yesterday was rainy and it took me back to a day in February when Daisy and I were walking on the Strand in Manhattan Beach, the waves rushing in looked like they’d used six boxes of Crest White Strips. We were being pelted by rain, but the two of us couldn’t have been happier.
For me the ocean is like an expensive, over-the-top spa Jenifer Aniston must go to routinely (cuz how else could she look that good). It’s like that old Preparation H tagine–“Shrinks Swelling–” the swelling of stress that can take me over, of the overwhelm this cuckoo clock world brings, of the worry that likes to tag along with me like an annoying little sibling your mom says you have to take care of even though you have plans with your friends. Maybe it goes back to my childhood, days filled with salty happiness, seaside barbecues, swimming and jetty walks, or maybe it’s just genetic because, for my mother, it was the place she most liked to be. Whatever it is, it feels like it would show up in my DNA test –“We’ve never seen this before, Bill, it’s, it’s, why I think it’s seawater.”
I love a city, take me to Europe, an intimate, historical town, but the true way to make me breathe with ease of a meditation class, to click my neurological system into cruise control, to incite my best self is to take me to the sea.
The rhythm of the waves is nature’s white noise. It can lull me to sleep, or just make my heart runneth over with hope and an overdose of “all is well.” Sand in my toes is my preferred state. Give me the seagulls swooping and squawking, the unmistakable and iconic aroma of Coppertone.
California has a lotta beach. I watched a lot of surfers dot the water with grace and guts while Daisy and I galavanted around on our daily walks. As I watched them skim across the water’s swells, Cirque de Soleil style, I would catch a quick glimpse of a grin. The same kind of grin I always have being oceanside–one made of pure, unadulterated gratitude.