As I swim out into the ocean with only the strength of my own arms to save me I consider for a moment where I am, who I am and what I am. A little too deep for most people probably but for me, it seems perfect. I’m an over thinker, of course. My strength and my ability is the only thing for people to judge me on here. Can I swim. How well. Will I drown. All that.
I am just a bobbing head with no body, no style and no opinion. Just me and the waves. Just me and how well I can stay above them. Just me and the might of the ocean as it pounds its way into the shore for the billionth time. There’s no bullshit here. Just jade coloured water, sand squashing in my toes and the hot sun on my face.
When people ask I tell them that’s why I love the ocean. It restores me when so many things aim only to take away. It requires nothing but a little consideration and some healthy lungs. You needn’t be wealthy nor wise to enjoy the ocean. Anyone is welcome. Bring your own beach towel and packet of chips.
I prefer salt and vinegar, but that’s your call.
An equaliser. A home of justice and peace. No race, religion, language, smarts, level of power will save you. I’m pretty sure Australia had a Prime Minister drown, yes? The ocean doesn’t discriminate. You try hard, you use your skills and you are generous with your neighbour. A perfect analogy for life, I think.
I turn and the sun hits me full on in the face. The gleam from my sunglasses, still perched on my face, sends small rainbows onto the surface of the water. I smile at those around me. We are in this together, out past the break, surviving on our wits. And as I duck under another wave, stroking powerfully to the surface, eye stinging, lungs stretched, I know. This is my place. I belong here.
And my dream to live by the ocean sets like cement in my heart.