The Ocean: A Love Story

I believe in the sand beneath my toes. The beach gives a feeling—an earthy feeling. –Third Eye Blind, Semi-Charmed Life

It’s time for my annual trip to Charleston with my mother and her sister, Gangster Gail. This week-long excursion begins with two days at the beach, a buffer between our daily lives and the adventures that await us.

The shore has always been where I discover who I want to be, and how I reconnect with who I already am. The beach, in its constant motion, calls me to a place of stillness.


Even as a child—the tide marked pivots: my parents’ divorce, teenage angst, the transition from grad school to working life, the beginnings (and endings) of relationships, and my hunger to write.

I’ve debated desires and dreams as I walked in the sand, the waves urging me to never give up. With each visit, the people, decisions, and events of my past come flooding back. They are all here–in the crushing and crashing of my life.

The tide keeps time: another day, another year.

Have you ever noticed that the earth teases us with her shimmer? Her ocean dance soothes us into the thinking that we could be somebody—anybody—because we came from her dust. She knows both our limits and limitlessness.


From Melbourne to Myrtle to Mendocino, the shore has fueled my obsession with travel, adventure, goals, and writing. The beach is where I feel my purest self–and my connection to the earth and to humanity. It makes me want to be the best person I can be.

Me in my old lady hat.
Me in my old lady hat.

Even as I write this, the tide kisses the shore, though it is sent away again and again.

There is no greater love.

Your Turn:

What’s your favorite ocean memory?


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