When my father was alive and I was still a very young girl, we would go to the Mississippi river. In Saint Louis, there are no beaches or oceans, so that is the closest that you will come. My father never looked more calm or peaceful than when we sat on the shore of the river. We watched boats and barges, the water crashing into the land, and there is a certain smell of the weeds and flowers around the river. His eyes would just seem to glaze over as he stared into the distance. Like my father, I am a very high strung, overstressed individual, but if you put me in a place with a large body of water, that melts away. Almost nothing else matters because it is my peace, my serenity, my “happy place,” if you will.
So being here at Cocoa Beach, FL was exactly what I needed. After I had awoken from my nap I noticed that the sun was going down. I got dressed into slightly warmer clothes and slid on my flip-flops, and down I went from the 8th floor ocean view room to the beach. I walked along the shore to the pier, the lights reflecting off the water.
I decided once I got on the pier that I was going to stop for a drink, and I did. I also ordered a sandwich and fries and I watched the last bit off sunlight disappear. When I had finished I continued my walk and hid between the small lights that illuminated the walkway. I lit a cigarette and looked down at the waves below, fierce and large they swelled and crashed onto the surface, spreading out into foam. Shadows moving between the waves as they rise again, seemingly racing toward the shore, overlapping and crashing again. I walked to the opposite side and saw the reflection of the moon dancing upon the ocean’s surface and wondered what creatures may lurk beneath. This body of water whose reach that is far beyond our own is it’s own world, with its own inhabitants. A world that humans have for so long, longed to be a part of that stories all over have been told of mermaids and mystical creatures. It was then that I thought of my children, how I wish to bring them to the beach. I wondered if in all the noise and stresses in the world, if the ocean could too bring serenity to their young lives. Would they feel the wonder and admiration, the calm of being like I do being here. The way my father felt when we visited the river. Is it because our bodies are mostly water that so many of us feel this connection to it? Even now as I type this, I can hear the ocean waves, I can see them by the pier, and the lighthouse to the south, shining its light for the ocean liners out into the water. It is heaven on earth, and I am blessed to be here to enjoy it.