Long Lost Friend

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Photo by Joseph Cox

By Sabrina Corbin

Day in and day out I feel her drawing me in. Whispering repose in my ear as she asks me to come visit, but I rarely can. The work must get done, but the cunning deception of work is that it’s unending. The daily pressures of my life wear and tear at my entire being. I’m constantly exhausted both physically and emotionally. Everywhere I go, I’m always carrying a load on my shoulders. No matter how large or small the matter may seem my anxiety will make it appear at large. If I am to achieve the serenity I so desperately crave and escape the daily anxieties I endure, I must accept the invitation she whispers to me.  The ocean calls my name, and, ignoring my troubles, I tell her that I’m on my way. The moment I step out of the car and breathe in the air, my attitude changes. The closer I get to the shore, the more my worries get quieter and quieter in my mind. The cloud of troubles that shields my view rolls away with the sunlight pouring in.

Every aspect of the beach is beautiful. The sand is as soft as the light ocean breeze kissing my skin with salt. All the seashells are tiny, artful, masterpieces just waiting to be found, although nothing compares to the ocean itself. The sound of the waves brings about a feeling within my chest that is difficult to explain. Peacefulness, wonder, respect, curiosity, and a hint of danger; all these things well up in my chest. Here I am standing before this momentous body of water that covers ¾ of our planet, and I can’t help but feel such wonder and respect for the incredible nature before me. I can look out to the horizon and, as far as I can see, the ocean is unending.

The water. Almost in a trance, I walk in to my shins. As I go deeper, I feel the water get colder. The drop in temperature sparks a sweet clarity in my mind. The water is at my hips. Before I know it, it’s up to my neck. I realize I shouldn’t go any farther, but the currents are arguing with me and try to pull me out more. It’s almost as if the they’re taunting me as the currents rip around my legs. With each movement, the sweeps prove to me that they’re stronger than I am, and the sea gives me a feeling of revere. These currents could break my balance at any second and pull me out to open ocean, but they don’t. I ignore the currents’ swift pulls and go underwater where the most beautiful part lies: silence. More specifically, a different version of silence lies within the depths. The only things that can be heard are the waves above me and the water around me. My thoughts are void of my troubles, which is unheard of if you have anxiety and know how it works. There are no worries, yet one simple thought remains in me: “peace at last.” It’s such an elegant thing to take a break from sensory overdrive to hear only water If I could, I would stay under the surface for much longer. I don’t know if I’d ever leave the ocean’s depths if I had the option, but my lungs protest. I give in and break the surface while heaving a big gasp. I reach for the sandy floor with my feet, but my head goes under again. The sea has brought me out a little farther than I need to be, and my heart rate quickens in slight fear. I swim back to where I can reach the ocean’s floor and can’t help but get a little annoyed. The ocean is greedy in the way she constantly wants me, and everyone else, to go out farther when she’s well aware we can’t do that. I look out again to the horizon to watch the tops of the waves forming and breaking in constant rhythm. I think to myself, “What’s out there?” Thinking of the ocean’s many secrets ignites a spark of curiosity within me. I don’t think of the dangers, like sharks, rip currents, or jellyfish. I think only of the positive possibilities of what I could find in her depths.

For some unexplained reason, the ocean makes me fearless, and I always want to swim out farther than I know is good for me. I always keep my cautious attitude, but I never want to listen to it when I’m surrounded with liquid courage. At the end of the day, still at peace, I sit on the shore caked in sand. My hair remains a salty mess throughout the day, and I’m loving it. Watching the sun set on the horizon, my eyes are rewarded with a conglomeration of the most beautiful colors that fill the sky and reflect off the water. Sharp reds and oranges guard the sun with soft pinks trying to calm them down. Crisp blues and purples bring up the rear as the moon pushes the sun out of sight over the horizon. However, a feeling of melancholy sweeps over me, as I know what comes next. It’s time for me to leave and return to reality after my day of relaxation. I gather my things, go back to the shoreline, and let the waves touch me to say goodbye for now. Silently, I thank this marvelous piece of nature for taking care of me and helping me relax. I thank her for allowing me to find an escape in a world where it’s next to impossible to breakout. As I drive away, my serenity and repose flicker away as the cloud of worry rolls back into the home it’s found in my mind. “Until next time my friend.”

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