I recall loving the ocean when I was little. Except for the salty taste on my lips after I went swimming. And all the sand in our car.
Maybe I did not like it as much as I thought I did.
I mean, I liked it, but I didn’t really appreciate it. My parents enjoyed going because my Daddy liked to fish and Mom just loved being by the water. Not in it, by it. She’s never been a swimmer.
I used to jump into the surf and waves and let them crash against my back, while my Daddy and I waded out into the foamy, greenish water, until I could no longer touch the sandy bottom.
Back at the edge, I would dig my toes into the beach, as the the tiny waves hit my legs and the sun beat down on my shoulders. Sometimes I would dig with a shovel and make a pretend castle.
During our recent trip to the Texas coast I saw myself in my daughter, who is now about the same age I was when this photo was taken…
She had a big shovel she found in the storage closet at our rental, and she was digging in the sand as we also combed the beach for shells, with my boyfriend’s daughter. For a split second I literally thought she was me, in some sort of out of body experience. I closed my eyes and remembered being small like her and somewhat intimidated by the grandness of the ocean, but never enough to stay away.
I thought about how the sand and salt would wash off of me in the shower, once we returned to our little cottage, that we rented when I was a little girl. I could almost taste the turkey on white bread sandwich that came from the Igloo cooler; and because we were so hungry, tasted like the best sandwich ever.
I thought about how free I must’ve felt back then, not a care in the world, with mom and dad taking care of everything. Especially me.
I wondered if my girl feels that free when she stands there too, looking out into those ever constant waves.
I heard her giggles and saw her toothless grin, as she galloped across the rippled sand, her toes partly painted pink.
For a few minutes I wanted to be her. I wanted to be that little girl at the beach again, just running around and feeling the salty air in my hair. Marveling at shells and watching the sunset, not really thinking or worrying about what tomorrow holds.
Just knowing it will inevitably come.