I don’t live by the sea, I live about 70-80 miles from the nearest beach or harbour, all of which are on the South Coast of England. In fact I’ve never lived by the sea – my fascination with it started after I spent 6 months in Australia and New Zealand. I saw a lot of beaches and rugged coastal scenery and became captivated.
I always have to go and stick my hand in the sea, wherever I come across it. It’s like a ritual, something I have to do.
I can quite happily just stand on a beach or by the coast and see the sea come in and out, watch the waves break over obstacles or move randomly over the flat sand. Its rhythmic nature is relaxing, and it’s soothing to observe.
I feel like the sea talks to me, tells me things if I make the effort to listen to it. It knows me.
On more than one occasion I’ve visited the sea while making decisions or just to contemplate things that have happened. It’s comforting and constant. It moves and lives all the time, gentle at times but with a ferocious nature on hand.
I haven’t seen the sea since November, when I visited a friend who lives just outside Brighton. Before I met up with her I had a hot chocolate at a cafe, gazed out over the expanse of ocean in front of me, and then wandered down onto the shingle beach to get a closer look.
I’m hoping that I feel up to a trip to the sea in the next couple of weeks – I miss it and would like to see it again.
And we need to have a conversation, the sea and I.