isn’t a place
but a fact, and
– Mary Oliver, The Waves
It’s been less than two weeks since I’ve visited the ocean, and it feels like forever. We’re deep into the holidays now, and the end of the quarter, the end of the year and the end of the decade. There’s no time for the ocean right now, but on the other hand there’s no better time for the ocean. I’m planning at least two trips to the ocean in the next week, for exercise and sanity and a bit of winter beach solitude. I’m close enough to salt water that it’s not going to break either the time or financial banks.
I noticed a lot of fresh water experiences in 2019, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario and exploring a double-digit number of waterfalls in New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Scotland. I’m hoping 2020 brings even more opportunities to ponder the mysteries of the ocean. I know I have a good head start teed up for New Year’s Day. For today, I’m using this Mary Oliver quote as inspiration for a four of my favorite moments with salt water in 2019.
Camusdarach Beach: My bucket list beach, and I’m grateful I had the chance to check this box in 2019. Sure, it was a rainy November day, but it was still as beautiful as I’d hoped it would be. I’m already plotting a return.
Plum Island: My go-to winter beach, close to home and blissfully isolated on a cold weekday. My lunchtime walk was my favorite long walk on a beach this year.
Sailing on Fayaway: I shake my head thinking I only went sailing once this year, which was the fewest number of times on a sailboat I’ve had in years. I’m grateful for the crew of Fayaway for giving me the opportunity to sail with them. I’ll get out more in 2020, I promise myself.
Buzzards Bay: Home away from home. The sunsets are stunning, but I’m partial to the sunrises. Swimming in Buzzards Bay doesn’t offer surf action, but it makes up for it with warm, salty water you can float in forever. At least I wish sometimes it were forever. The last swim of the year is always bittersweet, and, like sailing, I always hope for more next year.
We only have so many days, where do you prioritize the time you have? If I’ve learned anything in reviewing the year, it’s that I need to double down on my time with salt water. On the beach, on an oceanside trail, on a boat, or swimming in it, I must get back to the sea.