I grew up having the ocean at my doorstep. I left home and moved to the city, and still had the water to my right as I walked to work every day, and a view of the harbour through the window once I got there. When the time came to move on I went to work on a ship, getting closer still, to the ocean. Every break, every chance I had, I would rush outside to look over the railing and stare at the waves, sometimes spotting whales, porpoises, and flying fish. Other times I would just sit and read with the salty wind in my face. At night, I would follow the same ritual, only this time I would have to imagine the creatures that were following us, eating our waste, playing in our wake. I'd go back to work with my hair disheveled, my glasses full of salt spray and my skin dewy and glowing.
While I am completely fascinated and madly in love with the sea, I am terrified by it. Staring into the water at night can nearly frighten me to tears. Yet I could do it for hours. In fact, I have such an overwhelming desire to be staring off the balcony of a ship into the black ocean right now I feel desperate.
When it was time again to move on from the ship life, I moved so far inland that the sea was nowhere to be found. I am learning that mountains and prairies hold their own majestic beauty, and I can understand missing them if you had them in your peripheral most of your life. But the ocean. I just like to be near it. I don't need a hot sandy beach and a fruity drink to enjoy it either, (although it certainly adds to the ambiance). I actually prefer it to be a little dark and stormy at times, it keeps me reminded of the power it holds and respect it deserves.
I am feeling so nostalgic lately. Winter can do that to you, cause you to reminisce fondly of trips and vacations, sunny days and warm nights. It can make you want to get out, break out of the house, the boots, the stuffy winter coat and gloves, chapped lips and static on everything. Dream about running on a beach (ok, let's be realistic - sit on one with a beer), swim, let your toes out of their slippers (even though I am loving my new grey fleece Sperry Top-Siders at the moment).
While I don't see any vacation in the near future, I am sure that the next trip we take will be planned with the ocean in mind - as all of our trips tend to be. We have already discussed a drive down the California coastline, beginning in Vancouver. I think I'm going to start my idea gathering shortly to give myself something to look forward to, to daydream about. In the meantime, I have my own memories to keep me occupied.