We recently went to Miami and the Keys to visit David’s family and vacation. After a busy and enjoyable weekend with family, we cruised south to Key Largo.
What is it about being near the ocean? Where the land gives way to water?
Maybe it has something to do with the idea of transition, of shifting to new places, both physically and intellectually.
For me, and probably for many of us, it brings a sense of freedom. When I was a kid, my family would take regular summer trips to the Texas coast. Oh the excitement I felt as we crossed over the bridge in Corpus Christi! The salty air, the singing seagulls. And there it was—the water!! I’d spend several glorious days frolicking on the beach, playing with my brother and exploring all the interesting shells and critters that washed ashore.
As adults, sometimes the freedom is as simple as being in vacation mode, especially for those of us who don’t live by the water.
“Adios job, laundry, home improvement projects! We’re going to the beach!!”
But I feel there’s something more, too. By the ocean, where the breeze chases the horizon, my thoughts feel less tethered. To habit, to worry, to routine. And I’ve always been entranced by the sound of waves. It’s a sound that has existed since the beginning of time. The wondrous simplicity of this both humbles and soothes me.
“To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim, the rocks, the motion of the waves, the ships with men in them. What stranger miracles are there?”~Walt Whitman
We stayed bayside in Key Largo, and this was calming in its own way. Our “resort” was more of a small, meticulously kept inn with a beautiful botanic garden throughout and a quaint sandy beach with hammocks. The main sounds were the palm trees playing in the breeze. I love palm trees. Tall and sturdy with a wild party on top!
(In case you’re curious, the name of the resort was Kona Kai and I highly recommend.)
When I was volunteering at the elementary school library this week, I spotted a book of poetry by good ‘ol Shel Silverstein. I randomly flipped it open to a page and found “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” I had forgotten some of the lines….about the moon-bird who cools in the peppermint wind and following the arrows, “for the children, they mark, and the children, they know…”. Something about it seemed to fit quite well with this post about where the water begins.