Beach Vacation / by Leslie

Our beach vacation in Cape Cod was a perfect end to the summer. My husband's family rented a house in the New Seabury area, between Falmouth and Hyannis. This is our second visit to the house, we were there three years ago, and our sixth Cape Cod vacation. I wouldn't have said I was beachy kind of person ten years ago, having grown up on the prairies. Vacations with my family were usually spent camping in the mountains. However, after visiting just a handful of times now, the ocean has engrained itself in my spirit. I really didn't want to leave this time. The kids loved it too. We visited the beach everyday and built sand castles, walked on the beach in the early morning and after dark, found shells and rocks, swam in the surf and dug holes. Every single part of being there was awesome.

I'm trying to figure out what the draw to the ocean is for me, how and why a prairie girl could come to love it so much. Is it the sound of the waves, the reflections of the sun and moon on the water or the massive power of all that water? It is those things, but there is something more, something almost primal about the draw of the ocean. Being near the ocean is soothing and calming as well as awe-inspiring and invigorating. It makes me want to lay still, listen and just breath and it also makes me want to jump in and swim in the waves.

At home today, with Milo off at his first day of school, Quinn and I were cuddling on the couch watching a show about the origins of life. Life began in the ocean and the blueprints for humanity were started there. We all came from the sea. I started thinking about how the ocean was like a giant womb for life and what if our wombs, that each of us grows in, are like little oceans. It's kind of amazing to me when nature echoes itself in this way. It's like close-up pictures of our eyes that resemble a massive nebula in the depths of space or patterns in nature like the ubiquitous fractal that can be seen in many different natural objects of all sizes. Each person emerges from a watery womb, just as life did originally. I wonder if the ocean pulls us to it because it's where life came from and it echoes where each person comes from. It's something to think about.

However, whatever the reason is that has caused me to fall in love with the ocean, I realized that I do love it. It's surprising and odd to me, I don't like laying out in the sun, I'm not fond of putting on sunscreen, I'm kind of freaked out by seaweed and sharks, but despite all that, I love the ocean. I love how it makes me feel.

On our last day in Cape Cod, we went down late in the afternoon, built an epic sand city, ate some watermelon and then the kids were ready to go up. I stayed alone to enjoy my last moments at the beach. I was thinking about how good it felt to not be doing anything at all. I was just laying there, listening to the waves and feeling soothed and calm. For a moment I felt bad, it occurred to me that I might be just wasting time, but I reminded myself that when we take the time to notice that we have the freedom and privilege to simply be in awe of nature, we can be truly grateful for being alive. That is not wasting time. That might be the best time I spent this whole year.