by the end of last week, the combination of hearing about the devastation on japan and some personal junk i was going through had me wiped out. i felt overwhelmed and confused, just in some kind of funk. i knew what i needed - the ocean. throughout my adolescence, i spent every summer living at the beach. my summer job was at a shop three blocks from the ocean with a super chill boss who was fine with me hitting the beach in the morning, brushing the sand off my feet and rolling straight into work. early mornings on the beach are the best, not many people are out yet, mostly people walking their dogs. i'd grab a coffee and walk along the waves, or have a seat and read for a while, and it was so incredibly peaceful. beach days with my brother and sister and cousins always included hours spent out in the waves. i love the rhythm of the ocean, and how i can lean back into the waves and just ride up and over them.
until sunday, i hadn't checked out any of the nyc beaches since moving here. so i took my emotionally-funked self and a book, bundled up, rode the a train out to rockaway beach and instantly fell in love. the only people on the beach in winter are surfers and a handful of people walking. the quiet, in contrast with the city so closeby, is beautiful. i walked for a bit, then just sat right in the sand, shoes off, and felt instantly calmer. i watched the waves, and thought about how the ocean, capable of that terrible damage on the other side of the world, here was providing me with the serenity i craved.
i don't know what it is, really, about the ocean, but it's one of the things i can rely on as a reset button for me, emotionally. it can calm me down and remind me who i am, and assure me that everything is going to be alright. just as the tide will keep rising and falling, so will life. the same waves that can be turbulent and destructive one moment are followed by those that are beautiful, rhythmic, and steady.