When I was eleven or twelve, my family took an epic road trip. We traveled from Michigan to the east coast, stopping in Washington, D.C., as well as visiting some family friends who lived near one of Virginia’s beaches. It was my first time meeting the ocean, and the part of the long trip I was looking forward to most.

I still remember the heady feeling of the waves carrying me as I floated, waiting on my borrowed boogie board, the taste of salt in my mouth. It was magical, and I fell in love with the ocean that day.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1120.JPGIt was years before I had a chance to return; Michiganders don’t often make it to either coast, and besides, in the intervening time, I fell in love with the Great Lakes. Still, when I was in college, my girlfriends and I trekked down to Florida one year for spring break, and the day we spent at the beach, paired with the day we spent on a boat fishing in the ocean, were the highlights of the trip for me. I felt free when I dipped my toes in the sand, as if I were coming home to the place where I could be my most authentic self.

Now that I live just a few hours away from the ocean, I’m lucky enough to make the trip to the water at least once a year, and I’m lucky that my husband always stands back to let me greet the ocean alone at the first. Every time the water touches my toes, I feel my cares melting away, and I commune quietly with Goddess while I walk on the shore. Usually, inspired by the bubbling foam, I find myself chatting with Aphrodite, offering her gratitude for the abundance that I enjoy.

This summer, I had the chance to introduce my daughter to the ocean for the first time. Unlike my first meeting, she’s probably too young to remember (not even a year old yet!), but, through a beautiful twist of fate and a business trip, she got to meet the ocean for the first time not off the Carolina coast, but at the same beach in Virginia where, all those summers ago, I first felt the kiss of waves. It was a powerful experience, watching her watching the waves. The moon was waxing and visible above us, even in the bright sunlit sky, and stepping into the surf was, as always, like coming home...only this time, I met the ocean not as a maiden, but as a mother.

I can’t wait to share my love of the water with her as she grows, and if her first meeting is any indication, we're off to a good start.


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