It wasn't until recently that I realized we always say we're going to the beach. "The beach," as if it's one singular, distinct place that everyone goes to all around the world. In actuality everyone's beach is different. Your beach might be the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean or a lake front.
No matter what beach is yours, it has a special meaning to you individually. My beach is the coast of Fire Island, NY. Today was the first beach day of the summer and it made me realize how important the beach has been to me my entire life, a place I took for granted for so long. My childhood summers were spent on the shores of Maine and now each summer I work at on ocean front restaurant on Fire Island.
I've been to more beaches in my lifetime than I could even count. But no matter where the beach is I feel safe when my feet hit the sand and I'm steps from the salt water. I soak up Vitamin D and let the salt water seep into my skin. My freckles multiply uncontrollably and my hair turns so blonde it's almost white. All my problems fly away with the seagulls in the wind and I feel at peace. My beach is tranquility.
Your beach might be where you surf. You may ride the ocean waves to let loose and feel free. Or you might be a boogie boarder who enjoys getting toppled by crashing waves. Maybe you're a skim boarder. You might just enjoy swimming out past the crashing waves to float up and down with the water. And when you go home to lay in your bed you will still feel wave after wave pick you up and gently bring you back to the next wave.
You might be the kid who digs a hole in the sand in hopes to one day make it to China. Or the little girl who lugs her bucket of water, which she can barely lift, from the ocean up to her mom's blanket to build a sandcastle that her big brother is going to crush sooner rather than later. As a child our first scary moment of our life was being tumbled by a wave we thought was taller than our house. It was the first time we could barely breathe for longer than a "hold your breathe" contest with your friend at school.
You may also be one of the many brave souls that protect those who head out into the deep waters of the big blue sea. The beach is your job. You have best view in the house, but a scary responsibility. The beach is where you take charge and feel strong, it's where you are powerful.
No matter what your beach is or where it is, it's something special, don't let it slip away, don't let anyone take it away from you. Take care of your beach, for it has taken care of you for so long.