Love affair with the ocean

It is ever harder to listen to political news without hurling. My gut, my brain, my temper are overwhelmed. Yes I know I can turn the telly off. What I’m hoping for is real news. Surely there is still some out there. A kitty stuck up a tree?  A field fire near the neighborhood? A dog loose without his collar? Anything beyond our fixated attention on Clinton and Trump.

Listening to the pundits trying to dictate to me, second guess me, manipulate me, has been on for two weeks. Frankly, they hold me so cheap I could throw up. On their shoes. No more. I know full well who I will vote for. I didn’t know in August. There is so much more going on than the egos of  two politicians so full of themselves they spill over.

Holding my attention are the eye drops my husband keeps blinking away, necessary for the eye surgery in the morning. Some of the liquid reaches its target, so I’m not worried. I tell him cataracts sneak up on their victim, that he won’t believe when both eyes are corrected the world will be a surprisingly clearer place. At least visually.

My fave season is upon us. Crisp mornings, clear skies, warm afternoons and cool evenings are more comfortable for me. I don’t do well too hot or too cold. There are not enough of these golden days. I know that my ignoring it will not forestall winter, enjoyed only from indoors. Soft falling snow is lovely, even when driven by cold winds but only for a week, and then I long for spring. I suppose I live on the wrong coast, or at least as close as the coast can be to Lake Erie.

I had the deep pleasure to use someone’s seaside home down the shore some years ago. In winter. During a storm. Magnificent! The ocean stacked high above  the snow covered sand as the wind howled and pounded the windows. Next morning the beach was busy with folks bearing huge trash cans, picking up whatever the sea had dumped. I bundled up to have a look in late afternoon, the sand still littered with…..king crab, flounder, star fish, mussels. All frozen.

I dashed back to the house for a trash bag, then back to the beach for the bounty. For over an hour all I needed to do was bend over and lift the treasure. Someone stopped to tell me that when I emptied the bag in the warmth of the house, anything that didn’t move when thawed was not edible but that all else was.

We ate seafood for three days. Succulent fresh from the sea lunches and dinners so good we couldn’t believe it. My family feasted, leaving only sucked shells to toss back to the sand for gulls to pick clean. The sea plowed the shells back to the bottom of the ocean where  salt water would break them down.

I didn’t know this event was as rare as hen’s teeth. That snow on the beach in Southern New Jersey was not a common experience. That the sea pitched up incredible food just for the taking.

What I did know, for the rest of my life, is that I have always been in the wrong location for my soul’s joy. Sand and sea in any clime is totally necessary for my well-being. The crashing of waves on rocks and beach heads is the music I didn’t know I need. The soft shushing of a quiet ocean guarantees sound sleep. Moonlight on the water soothes me like nothing else can. I didn’t know. And now that I do, beneath even the loveliest of my life experiences I wait for those sounds and sights that tell me who I am and where I should have been for a  lifetime.

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