California: The Ocean and Me

One of the best feelings is being in the ocean.

One of the best sounds is the rush of the sea as it barrels towards the shore.

One of the best smells is the salty sea air as it rides in on a gentle sea breeze.

Palm Trees By the BeachThe ocean plays a constant melody, sometimes a lullaby, and even though it might change in tone, it’s always beautiful. This is one of the only places on earth where I can find peace. When I’m by the water, virtually nothing and no one exists. It’s just me and ocean.

One of the best feelings is being in the ocean, but there is no feeling like being pulled under and caught in the current of a wave as it churns. As strange as it might sound, I wasn’t scared. In fact, I enjoyed it. The sensation of being pushed by the force of the water and having no control was as if, for a few moments, I was part of the ocean.

There were days where I would stand by the shoreline, looking out to sea, but there were other days where I would strap on a wetsuit and paddle out. Those are the days the waves would be rough and the current would change without any warning and I spent most of my time underwater instead of above it. Those were the days I took spills and collected my fair share of cuts, scrapes and bruises. Those were the days my mouth filled with the taste of saltwater.

But those are also the days I wouldn’t trade for anything.

On my last day of surfing I was given a once in a lifetime gift. I was heading out and saw a large, black mass in front of me. I assumed it was seaweed since the waves had been washing up more and more as the afternoon went on, but it wasn’t seaweed. All of a sudden the head of a seal broke the water’s surface. I knew it was a seal, but for some reason my brain was having trouble registering it. Within seconds its head disappeared and I watched as its body arched and dove under. It was one of those moments that happened so fast, but was so surreal that I’ll never forget it.

The sea is beautiful and feisty. It’s calm and aggressive. Sometimes being part of the ocean, connected to it and able to read it, isn’t enough. For me, whether I’m being beat down by the waves, sitting out in the wide open ocean, laying on the beach or listening to the crash of wave in the distance, there’s a indescribably feeling there for me. It’s almost as if a strange sense of calm comes over me. It makes me truly feel that everything will be alright.

Many evenings I found myself wondering down to the beach to watch the sunset. The sky would Sunset on Moonlight Beach IIIIturn yellow and orange as the last rays of the day would burst through the clouds that started rolling in (and would become the morning fog) before turning the same steely blue as the water. While watching the sun set, I would dig my toes into the cool sand and think about how beautiful and peaceful it was here.

At night, when I was laying in bed, I would fall asleep to the song of the ocean.

During the day, when I was walking around town, I could feel the pull of the sea.

The truth is, the ocean has always and will always have a piece of my heart.

To see more photos from California please be sure to check out my photo site.

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