I grew up in Kentucky and didn’t get to the ocean very often. Occasional trips to visit extended family in Florida, and a couple of trips to the Georgia coast, but otherwise it wasn’t a significant part of life for me as a kid. Maybe that’s why I have always loved it. My parents tell the story of the first time I saw the ocean, when I was maybe two or three years old. I ran down to the water, but as the waves would come in I would turn and run away from them. I’m sure I was afraid of the water, and even though I had spent time around a lake before this, it was probably the action of the waves that threw me.
Over time I worked up the courage to wade into the ocean, and even though I’ve never been much of a swimmer, I like the water. There is something mystical about the ocean. I have always been amazed that you can’t see the other side — I know that sounds simplistic, but the size of the ocean still baffles me in some way.
Now, all these years later, I live within a few miles of the ocean, and I can even see a sliver of it from my apartment. It’s nice to be so close to the water, even if the ocean in San Francisco is too cold for much in the way of swimming, it’s still nice to be able to get there so quickly and to absorb the ocean’s vibe. It’s a powerful force, and one that I have always enjoyed. It’s energizing, and the power of the waves is both fearsome and calming at the same time.
It’s tough to imagine ever living far away from the ocean again. I don’t think I’d like it very much. There’s just too much to love about it not to be able to see it on a regular basis.