I stepped over the crest of the sand dune and scanned the horizon. So big. So far. We're here, at the ocean - we've been excited about this ever since the inkling manifested itself into a concrete plan.
It doesn't take long for the sand to slough off the stress on my skin, in my cells. Little bits of finely crushed shells smash against my calves as the current pulls the ground from under my feet and I feel myself sinking. I keep my feet planted as the water spills to shore and races back repeatedly, each time trying to best her last furthest reached point. I actually heard the song line in my head, "to the oceans white with foam," as I watched the sea foam, abandoned on the shore by its wave, seep into the ground. I scanned the saturated surface for shells. Timing the retrieval of my selection was a fine balance between eyeing the spread available and snatching it up, clutched tight in my fist, before the attack of the next wave. Over and over we played this game.
For long stretches of time I would simply face the horizon thinking about the greatness of the sea. I pictured the globes of my elementary school classroom. I pictured the words Atlantic Ocean in an italicized font on the deep turquoise portion of the sphere. It was just a hand's span from the green United States to the pink Africa. I looked out at the line where the sky meets the ocean, and thought about people on the other side standing on the shore peering at the same line. It is awesome that the beach has expertise in freeing the mind of stressful thoughts and reoccupying that space with ideas of a more global nature. My to-do list back home doesn't seem as urgent anymore.