In case you didn’t know, the ocean has magical healing powers. Not too far from my house is one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see, Cranes Beach. The beach is completely untouched by man, aside from a few low-structured boardwalks that lead beach-goers over the grassy dunes. When you cross over the top of the boardwalk and look over the sprawling three mile beach, you enter into another world. I have been going to this beach since I can remember, and it still takes my breath away every time.
Some of my best memories are here at the beach. I remember building sandcastles with my sister, so elaborate that it was in fact a downright kingdom. Moats, walls, and a castle that extended far beyond the appropriate amount of space that two elementary schoolers should occupy for a sandy arts and crafts project. We made these great creations countless times, and yet were equally as heartbroken each time it was destroyed by the rising tide. The beach taught me to imagine, to build to your heart’s desire, and to never think your dreams had limits. Here at the beach, there was no limit to how large or elaborate our sandcastle could be. Endless sand and oodles of space meant that the beach was our canvas, ready for us to build and create to our heart’s desire.
Understandably, when most people think of the ocean, they think of the sand, the sun, making sandcastles and swimming in the salty waves. Memories come to mind just like my own sand-castle-building memory. While some of my best childhood memories are from playing in the sand, the beach means something different to me in the end.
My favorite time to go is just as the sun is setting, and the beach crowds have died out. Sunsets are a marvel on their own, but when the sun hits the water, it brings a whole new magic. The colors not only excite your eyes, but your spirit. Since I could drive myself, the beach has been my go-to place when I need to just sit and think. I sit on the sand, playing with the grains with my toes, listen to the waves crash, breath in the fresh salt air, and enjoy the view. Here is my happy place, where nothing can touch me, nothing can hurt me. Here, I am invincible. Something about the mixture of the salt air and the therapeutic rhythm of the waves clears my mind and almost seems to sort out my thoughts for me. The ocean has gotten me through breakups, make-ups, nerves, and countless fights with my mom or sister. No matter what is going on in my life, I can always find peace here.
The ocean made me realize one very important thing: that there is something bigger; something so huge and beautiful that not even the most brilliant minds can wrap their heads around it. In this, I find assurance that everything is going to be okay. If I get a bad grade on a test, fight with a friend, or really just have an all around bad day, life goes on; the birds will still chirp, the sun will still rise, and the oceans will keep on moving. So, like our good sea-friend Dory always says: just keep swimming, just keep swimming.