I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and open them again slowly. I take in my surroundings with a sweep of my head – I’m at the beach. I feel content; I can never be upset when I’m near the ocean. The sound of the waves, the smell of salt and the feeling of sand between my toes never fail to calm me. Without warning I get a feeling of recklessly wanting to run into the water. As I walk closer to the water’s edge the sky turns darker and the waves get choppy and rough. This doesn’t deter me; I keep walking toward the water until my toes reach the foot of the waves hitting the shore. The sky has turned a nasty dark gray streaked with flashes of lightning. I feel detached and strange as I start to think that this isn’t the best “swimming” weather. Nonetheless, I keep plowing right into the water. Somehow I don’t float up to the top, as the water gets deeper, I just simply walk the bottom of the ocean as though I had weights tied to my feet. I can see – under the water that is. I see everything as clearly as if I had been on the sandy shore. A few fish dart by me, as though hurrying to some safe place before the storm hits – but for the most part it’s still under the water. I walk a little bit farther until I feel the urge to sit down. I sit criss-cross applesauce (as I used to call in back in Elementary). I’m suddenly reminded of when I used to swim down to the bottom of pools with my childhood best friend and sit there pretending we were sipping tea. We would giggle and bubbles would escape from our mouths floating up like jellyfish to the surface. I’m jolted back to reality as I feel something slither over my foot – I look down to see an eel go by. I smile lazily and wonder why I don’t just live down here. It’s dark and I decide to look up to see why. The surface of the water no longer looks like glass – its rolling, and rippling, dots of rain cover the surface. The storm has hit, I think. I’m deep enough underwater to not be too effected by the turmoil aboveground, yet close enough to the top of the water to be able to see how much havoc the storm is causing my ocean. My ocean, I repeat in my mind. Yeah, that sounds right. Somehow I feel like this ocean belongs to me. I laugh thinking how silly that sounds but by the way I can actually hear my laughter instead of just seeing bubbles it sort of hits me that I am underwater breathing and talking like a light bulb going off above my head. I smile and whisper quietly to the fishes passing by me “My Ocean” – they understand me, I can tell.
October 7, 2010