My Backyard

Growing up I could look out of every window in my tiny home and see corn, hay, and soybeans growing. Cow pastures would pop up in between the mix and the only bodies of water were the local lakes and creeks. I was, and still am, proud of where I came from. It was a working man’s country, small, but big in pride. And I shared that pride with my entire community. I was happy to be apart of old Small Town, U.S.A. 

Now, as an adult, I look back on those memories fondly, still inhabiting the same proud smile on my face. At this point in my life, I can now look out of every window in my home and see the ocean. My grass has now become sand and my local lakes and creeks have turned into sea, sound, and estuaries. 

Every morning, as I stroll the water’s edge, I am rewarded with simple treasures of seashells and sea glass. Such little gestures that fill almost every empty bottle and mason jar in my home. With each step I keep my gaze on the horizon, anticipating the arrival of the sun. The dark colors of night have faded as the morning colors have began to swirl, creating God’s masterpiece. Just as the hues begin to brighten and deepen, the sun makes it’s way gradually over the seal the sky and ocean have created. 

All in one breathtaking moment, the sun has made an entrance, cascading light across the white sand. I’m drawn to the sight before me and although, I would love to stay where the water meets the shore, I am needed back at my home to prepare for work. I may not travel from my home for my career, but I do have to make it a point to stay out of my backyard until my work is finished. 

After I think I can’t stand one more minute of my day, I am surprised with the fact that my day is actually over. My afternoon plays out similarly to my morning. I walk where the edge of land meets the edge of water. I collect glass and shells just as I did 8 hours ago. Even though my routine is the same day in and day out, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I wouldn’t trade my backyard for all the riches in the world. 

Constant.

With each shade in God’s sky, a new day arises. Every morning I walk the water’s edge anticipating what He has planned out for my day. Over the years, I have learned to start my morning this way; praying as the sand pushes from my feet and the ocean water cascades over the footsteps I have left behind. I always try to gaze at the horizon, trying to capture every moment of the show God has portrayed. With each passing minute the clouds move and the colors change and swirl. I have to be careful not to miss one second. 

Although, I could stay on this sand forever, my career calls my name and pulls me from the beach. Throughout the eight hour grind, I reminisce on the sunrise that started my day. After the rat-race of a day I come back to my place. I come back to where I need to be. 

 This is a place where I feel at peace, a place closest to God. He gave me this place, He gave me this constant, to give me peace and keep my faith. 

First Sunrise

The waves rolled and crashed along the shore. The sun peeked up from the horizon, causing the island to stir. The sunlight slowly cascaded and stretched across the white sand, giving an iridescent appeal. Shells scattered along the sand became visible,  while small crabs started back for home, not wanting to be seen. The first sunrise while on vacation at the coast, was something that could only be cherished. In this exact moment, this place and point in time, was where all of life’s troubles were thrown to the tradewinds; Content washes over and bliss settles its way in. God himself painted this masterpiece  bringing contentment and satisfaction to those who were lost in the rat-race. God’s simple act of nature moves so many with a strong, yet subtle impact.

The Only Way of Life

There is a place that God himself created for the laid back and the worn down. Whether it is along the coasts, on the islands, or even in the secluded lagoons, there is a place where only a special type of person can enjoy life to its fullest potentials. These places carry with it a little magic that gives its permanent and temporary inhabitants a sense of fulfillment with the world. Most people can never experience the wonders that this lifestyle carries with it, and to those I raise my glass in hopes that one day, while in the clouds, they’ll be able to experience these wonders they missed while on Earth.

A perfect explanation to this lifestyle cannot be relayed by message, only wondrously experienced, making these places so much more exhilarating and organic. Whenever I’m asked as to why I obsess over something such as a salty body of water, I can only describe it with a smile; it’s my way of life, the only way of life.

Ocean Perspective.

People from all walks of life come to me. Some run, some stumble, and some blissfully stroll the edge of me. I can tell you which ones are meant to be here, which ones have never left here, and which ones have never even wanted to come here. Everyday I create a scene, in the eyes of God, that would leave a pessimist feeling warm inside and lead an atheist to redemption.

I offer an oasis to some and an anchor to others, both literal and figurative. I’ve realized over my lifespan that for some I offer more than just a place to surf or swim, but a place to heal. I offer a place to find yourself again and I let you find new life though God. Not one person views myself the same as another. I find that I can describe that aspect inspiring and yet troubling all in the same breath. No matter what I am to some I am different to others. I scare some, encourage some, stifle some, and uplift some. I never do the same thing for one person as I do for another, and I’m content with that. I appreciate the career God has laid out for me and I never want to be anything more than who I am, the Ocean.

Ocean Senses.

The colors and hues swim in each eye.

The salt tingles each nostril.

The sands dust each hand.

The blissful pleasure ignites each tastebud.

The tradewinds calm each ear.

                                                 The waves soothe every soul.

Tantalizing Waves.

Rushing and pounding the shore with a tantalizing orchestra of crashing.  Enough to calm the storm inside and relinquish the fury that has been bottled. Giving direction to the ships and taking direction from the man in the moon. Waves.

Waves can deliver the chill down each individual vertebrae composing your spine. They deliver the ocean-made shells to the shore for all the locals and tourist to revel in discovering. Waves, can carry a power almost as strong as God himself and yet can be  as gentle as a small infant. These tantalizing works of nature can take your breath right from your lungs in amazement of their natural beauty. You’ll never experience anything like an ocean derived wave.

Salt kissed from the heavens above, they can bring your soul at peace in an instant. Waves are something that tickle the fancy of each of the five senses giving the ultimate experience of euphoria. Let waves take you to a place of bliss and never look back.

The Souvenir

He finally was able to pull her away from the ocean she loved, so they could explore the sandy town they were currently vacationing in.  She threw on the only nice outfit she brought with her and was able to put on a little eye catching make up, despite the fact that he always told her she looked good without trying.

They strolled along the salt eaten sidewalk  with the noticeable sting of summer on their checks. Just as always, they laughed and enjoyed their time together, soaking up the simplicity of their visit. Finally they made their way to the little town they passed on the way in. A warped wooden sign, decorated with a shiny, plastic swordfish, a few coral colored star fish, and some old trusty netting in the upper corner, hung proudly above the door. They walked in with their fingers intertwined in another, only to find wall to wall nautical riches. With widened eyes they explored every little trinket and dried sea creature, making sure they didn’t miss even a grain of sand.

She knew she had to discover the perfect treasure to always act as a symbol of this wonderful trip they took together, and he knew she wouldn’t stop until she found it. She stumbled upon starfish of all shapes and sizes, nautical stuffed animals, surf and boogie boards, and even the cutest ankle brackets she had to have that were embellished with beads and shells. Like every tourist infested shop it was filled with the usual tacky t-shirt you knew you would never wear, the bumper sticker with a witty saying, and even the real shark teeth that would cut you to the touch, but she still couldn’t find exactly what she had been searching for. She was happy with the dozen one dollar ankle bracelets she obtained, but she just couldn’t come across the keepsake she knew she needed. He sensed her discouragement, he was always good at that, so he led her to an area of the store that had been less examined by the years and years of out of town eyes. There in the dusty corner of the store lied a small hand woven wicker basket full of the tiniest, cutest little glass bottles that were filled with all kinds of oceanic treasures. They were accompanied with a small cork, holding all of its riches inside and a sterling silver, diamond-cut chain.

She prodded through everyone of them, making sure she found the most perfect one.  The very last one she got her hands on was filled with snow-white sand from the shore, a tiny aqua blue starfish, and  even tinier sea shells. The  trinkets inside this glass chamber that caught her eye the most though, were the small rose colored pearl,a minuscule dried sand-dollar, and what she thought was the smallest anchor she had ever seen. She knew this was what she had been searching for. With great pride she pranced to the well used counter to purchase her treasures. He knew by the smile stretched across her cheeks that she was content with her findings. When the total came he laid down a wad of sand dusted dollars and made that smile on her face stretch just a bit further. They chatted on the way back taking in the scenery and the whole way she clung to that souvenir,that was wrapped around her neck, in hopes that she could stop time and forever stay in that perfect moment.

Her Oasis

This was her place of healing, her oasis.

 

She strode along the damp sand letting the salt drenched air wisp through her sun kissed curls. Gazing at the waves gliding along the shore, she painfully reminisced on her past year. Alongside the man she loves, she knew he wouldn’t be able to decipher the salt water from the tears that streaked down her summer stung cheeks. The hurricane that raged through her veins, paired with a storm that reeked havoc on her soul, were finally calmed by the Atlantic.   The feeling of being at ease was something she had long forgot. This long sought after moment was something she would treasure forever. Not even the despair she had felt could erase this from her memory. She knew in her heart that salt life was for her, even though this trip was temporary, she knew she would come back to forever reside in the only place that she could feel at peace.

Letting her toes tickle the sand, she was mesmerized and lost her focus in the sun as it began to slip slowly into the Atlantic, changing the blue skies to a mix of crimson, violet, and peach hues. The palms swayed in the ocean breeze making their leaves create a rhythmic motion luring the moon into the sky. The bright colors slowly faded as a midnight sky took over. Unlike the small town she grew up in, the dark of night didn’t damper the island spirit, it kept it fueled. Even nautical creatures still scurried along the sand that was now iridescent with the previously welcomed moonlight. She soaked in one more picture perfect moment, wishing that she could forever stay in that point in time.