An Affair Like No Other

She takes off her hat and kicks up small splashes amongst the waves. She inhales long breaths of the sea air, which clear her head. Possibly the ones observing her speculate then about the manner in which delight seems to overtake her and to fill her with the joy of anticipation. And are surprised as she is by her acceptance of her fate. For in the space of time it has taken to walk from the seawall to the sea, perhaps the distance of a hundred yards, she has passed from being a girl, with a child’s pent-up and nearly frenzied need to sweep away the rooms and cobwebs of her winter, to being a woman.Β —Β Fortune’s RocksΒ (Anita Shreve)

I imagine that might be a bit like how I welcomed the waves at sea, sans the part about discovering desire, of course. Mine’s more of recapturing that feeling of blissful freedom every time I reunite with the sea.

It was dark. Whatever bit of light we had came from artificial sources. Even the moon and the stars chose to conceal themselves. The sea was a huge rolling mass of darkness. I was hypnotized by the sound and sight of waves crashing on the shore; I just had to see it all up close. I picked up my slippers and walked to the shore slowly, tentatively, as if every imprint I left on the sand, every step mattered. I skirted dangerously close to the water’s edge, letting small waves lap at delicate feet. The water was very warm and inviting indeed; a contrast to the slightly chilly air. I was excited. A splish, a splash. I kicked my feet playfully, delighting in the feel of both water and sand caressing my feet. I could smell the salt in the air, every breath reinvigorating both body and soul. I was awestruck as I took it all in–the semi-darkness and the rough waves, both a magnificent and terrifying sight. I decided to flirt with danger and be a little adventurous. I ventured a little further, advancing as though I would brave every wave head on, and then retreating when it almost crashes to my knees. I pulled my dress up so it wouldn’t get wet. Then suddenly I felt it–that familiar feeling of pure bliss, as if all my inhibitions fled and I was left standing there for all the world to see–real and vulnerable. I waded a little, splashed a little, laughed and smiled a lot. I almost couldn’t contain it–this love affair with the sea. 

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Originally written: June 1, 2009 (Livejournal)