I love the beach. I love everything about it: the sun, the sand, the surf, the food. I even love the weight I gain from eating said food because of how that weight accumulated. I find my center with the waves lapping over my bare feet, white caps in the distance, and the ocean air cleansing my aura while humidifying my hair. When I am not at the beach, I am not home.
I visited the beach for the first time while still entombed in my mother’s womb. My arrival date was five months away. I visited the beach for the second time eight months post-birth. I haven’t missed a year since, except for 1996 when my father hurt his back and 1998 when my parents were saving up to take us to Disney World.
So, why don’t I live at the beach?
I don’t know. Well, I mean, I know. I know that my parents moved to rural Pennsylvania from Philadelphia because they didn’t want to raise their children in the city. I know that I couldn’t exactly strike out on my own while wearing footy pajamas. I know that adulting required me to make certain decisions that honored my responsibilities and kept me moving forward on the path to “success.” But those are all logical reasons – things I can blame for detouring me away from the coast. I don’t really know why I don’t live at the beach. The cosmic reason is beyond me.
I believe I’ll live there someday. Maybe when I win the lottery, maybe when I retire, maybe when the adventurous spirit that has eluded me all my life takes over and I can no longer resist the call of the
wild waves. But until that time comes, I will placate myself with surfside prints on the walls, beachy touches throughout the house, and summer-movie marathons, every day feeling a little too far from home.