The Shore

the ocean
can calm itself,
so can you.
are both
salt water
mixed with
― Nayyirah Waheed

Sometimes I think it’s odd that someone born under the sign of Taurus (the bull) who is so connected and rooted to the earth should get so much from being at the shore.  There is something life affirming (we all know this – I’m just stating the obvious here) about being there.  Listening to the gulls (after they steal your fries and poop on your head), watching the tide come in and then go back out, taking in that briny, salty smell that is uniquely ocean.  I often find myself physically pulled to that seaside spot.

And so it is that last weekend, in celebration of our 36th anniversary, the hubs and I took a couple of days and went to a sweet little beach on the Atlantic seaboard.  Surfside Beach is a charming little community just south of Myrtle Beach (which I would NEVER describe as charming) filled with cottages and huge beach houses, families and old people (us being of the latter category).  It was perfect.

When I say I love the shore I mean just that…the actual shore.  I don’t especially love what we’ve done to the area around the shore.  I don’t like all the hub bub and the putt-putt and the amusement parks and the calabash seafood buffets (which, if you don’t know, is just a fancy way of saying, “we fry everything”).  Don’t get me wrong, when the kids were little I was very grateful for all of that because of course their attention span was that of a gnat (on a good day), and when I was in my 20’s I loved the restaurant and bar scene, but my real love is, and always has been, right next to the waves.

Notice I say next to the waves.  This is where the bull in me comes out.  I seldom actually get into the water.  I’ll cool my feet.  Stand by while the kids play.  Wiggle my toes into the sand.  But the fish and I have an agreement – they stay in the water and I stay on the land.  Plus I hate being wet and especially hate being wet in Lycra so…there you go.

But I can sit by the shore for hours provided I’m well shaded.  This is why my favorite time at the beach is fall/winter and early spring.  I actually like the brisk (okay cold) weather.  I’ll bundle up and huddle down and just watch the waves and listen to the roar and let my mind just do whatever it wants to do.

In a word, meditate.

So that’s what I did this weekend.  I sat by the shore for several hours.  I sat on the balcony for several more.  I positioned the sofa in the condo so that while I was watching TV I could still watch the ocean.  Bliss.

And a crazy thing happened (she said with her tongue fully in her cheek), as the waves rushed in, I imagined all my own negativity rushing back out when they left.  I imagined peace rolling in and depression rolling out.  And I feel better.

I’m not sure how long this peaceful easy feeling will last but I’ll ride this particular wave to the end.



6 thoughts on “The Shore

  1. I agree the ocean is necessary to my well-being. I don’t think I fully grasped that until we actually moved to the beach four years ago. I live between Savannah and Tybee Island, and while yes, the humidity can be its own beast, all the other parts make up for it. After living here now for as long as I have, I actually crave the humidity. My kids go to a school on Tybee, so I drive there at least once a day. My friends and relatives beg us to move closer and inland, but after living on the coast, I simply can not go back. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect, but I handle the gritty parts of life better when I get a regular dose of ocean. Glad you had a good trip!

    1. I never wanted to leave the coast but work took me away so here I sit – 4 hours from the shore rather than 30 minutes. But it could be worse, I could live in Oklahoma with my son which is WAY too far from the ocean for me!

  2. As a yearly shore sitter, (Outer Banks) I totally get that. I sit for hours and especially enjoy sunrise. Puts everything in perspective. The fish and I have the same agreement and a wet bathing suit with sand in the crotch can spoil a terrific “ I love the ocean” high! Glad it lifted your spirits.

  3. How did I miss this? Happy Anniversary….I’m so glad you had this get away and that felt some respite from the burdens you have been carrying. Maybe you can move there one day! I don’t see me ever not living in the mountains….I just can’t. I need trees and nature and natural beauty.

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