The sun shines. The water glistens in the bright light. The wind swirls around me, unsettling the hot sand beneath my feet. I run to the ocean, disturbing the calm water as I dive in. The water surrounds me, engulfing me in its warmth. I am now at peace. For right now, at this moment, I am one with the water and the salt and the sand, and everything is okay. All my problems are washed away with the tide. It’s just me and the ocean. Just me and the beach. Just me and my favorite place in the world. I cannot describe how much the ocean means to me.
The waves, the sand, the sun, the water, the world deep beneath the surface that no human truly understands, everything about it just connects with me. I grew up with the ocean; it was on the shores that I took my first steps, learned to swim, and grew familiar with all the small creatures the dwell near the shore. No, I didn’t entirely grow up on the beach, though I wish I had. I’ve lived since birth, in the Chicago land area. However, once a year my family has gathered in a beach house in North Carolina, right on the ocean, for a weeklong reunion.
I treasured those precious seven days I had with my family on the beach, for that is all I got; seven days of pure happiness, and then I went back to my normal, beach-less life. Don’t get me wrong; I loved growing up in the city, but something about those weeks at the beach captured my heart and made me yearn for more. So many of my best childhood memories are centered on the shores of North Carolina. Surrounded by all my favorite people and things, there was never a dull moment.
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Though looking back it seems like we spent every waking moment on the beach and in the water, we also played games inside the beach house, or just hung out and talked while sitting on the porch, looking out at a beautiful beach sunset. When I was younger, no older than maybe six years old, I loved the waves. My cousins would be too scared to go near the big ones, preferring to stay near the shore. But as for me, the daredevil, I looked down upon the wimpy waves, wanting only the big ones that can only be found in deeper water.
Once, a big storm hit our beach and all the strong men went out to try to conquer the 10 feet waves. I wanted so much to join them battle the sea. However, my mother would not let me go in. So instead, my cousins and I stayed on the porch watching, amazed at how the calm and peaceful ocean of the daytime could turn into such a monster. But the next morning, the sound of the calm waves crashing on the sandy shore greeted me as I first opened my eyes to the new day in paradise. The peaceful water I knew and loved had returned, waiting for me to go back in.
Even the not so great things at the beach will grow on a person. For instance, the fact that sand gets everywhere may bother some people, but not me. And not just the places you would expect it to be, it’s everywhere. Even when you try so hard not to touch the sandy ocean floor, it gets in your swimsuit, the couch, the bed, and the floor. It just seems to follow you in the house, despite the many rugs feebly attempting the stop the sand at the front door. But while at any beach, you come to expect it.
I not only came to live with sleeping with sand, but I also started to like it. I never had to leave the beach, even when I was sleeping. There are other down sides to being at the beach, but none of them bother me anymore. For example, no matter how much sunscreen you rub into your skin, you always seem to get sunburn somewhere. Or how it doesn’t matter if you are dripping with bug spray at night, the mosquitoes attack you anyway. But even sunburn and mosquito bites can’t ruin my trips to the beach. After all, I am at my favorite place in the world.
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