Summer: that magical time of year we long for, with its bright sandy beaches and its carefree whimsy… until July hits, and we remember the muggy heat and the mosquito bites keeping our children up all night.
My four year old is holding out hope for a beach vacation, and no matter how many times I suggest the lake as an alternative, she insists that the lake doesn’t have sandy shores and white-crested waves and sun-kissed seashells just waited to be collected in her sticky little fists.
And she’s right. I’ve lived in the mountains, I’ve dipped my toes in lakes near and far, and I’ve walked the rocky shores of rivers that wind away as far as the eye can see. There’s nothing quite like the majesty of the ocean with its never-ending sea-green horizon and the vast stretches of sand that catch the glimmer of sunshine as it ripples back up to greet the sky that seems to carry on forever and ever.
The dark clouds that roll in as the winds pick up and the salt spray reminding you that the ocean can be as fierce as it can be peaceful. The changing colors of the water as it ripples, crests into a rolling wave, and settles gently back into itself like a mama bear settling down for the winter. The ocean holds secrets it’ll never tell and if you’ve ever stared out into it, eyes squinted as the sun plays tricks on the glistening surface, you know those secrets are whispering to you, calling you from the deep, cold darkness below.
And so it is with the ocean, a contradiction of darkness and beauty, of ferocity and calm, of meek and majestic. And so it is with us, as the storms sway us to and fro and the winds threaten to blow us over and the sun bends down to kiss our skin with its unrelenting heat.
May your summer remind you once again of your childhood whimsy, of your carefree laughter, of your wind-tossed mane as you run with the clouds above you and the sand between your toes, arms outstretched to greet whatever secrets the ocean deems you worthy to bestow.