“The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.”
― Isak Dinesen
While the above quote may be one of the most well known and perhaps overused quotes, it is still one of my absolute favorites, because I believe it to be true.
Maybe it is because I have been lucky enough to grow up, and have spent my entire 21 years, surrounded by the ocean that I am so fascinated by it. There is nothing quite as simultaneously beautiful, mesmerizing, and intimidating as the ocean. I love the smell of the air as you travel closer to the coast, the smell of the salt water and fresh air mixed together in the wind. I love the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. I love the way you can see for what seems like forever in the distance when you look at the ocean, like there is nothing past it. I love the way the ocean can be so seemingly calm one day, and yet the next it can be angry, violent, and threatening. I love the feeling of diving into the ocean, headfirst in to a wave. I love the feeling of coming back up to the surface and feeling the sting of the saltwater in my eyes. I like how the ice cold temperature of the ocean makes me feel clean and refreshed.
I’m scared of the ocean because it is mysterious – it is impossible to tell what lies in there. I fear the ocean because it is unpredictable and unforgiving, it will not hesitate to swallow you up. I’m intimidated by the ocean because it is really difficult for me to wrap my mind around how truly huge it is. All in all, these fears are outweighed by my love, and I respect rather than fear the ocean.
There is something about riding my bike for miles along the coastline with my best friend that makes me feel utterly happy. That distinct saltwater and fresh air smell is present the entire time, the sun is beaming down, and hearing seagulls and light waves along the shore makes me feel calm, relaxed, and consciously aware of my heart pounding and my muscles screaming at me as we bike up the winding roads and hills. The little beach houses nestled in the hills, all with ocean views make me wish I lived there, and could see those views every day. The tourists milling around the lighthouse, our destination, make me smile because I’m so happy they are experiencing the beauty of my little town. Sitting on the giant rocks that surround the lighthouse, staring at the ocean, my mind blank except for a single thought: I’m so happy.
Okay, maybe that thought was actually I’m so fucking happy right now, but that didn’t seem as deep.
Anyway, point being that I had one of those so- called Aha! moments. I realized that even though even though everything may not be perfect ( faaar from it ) in my life right now, I’m okay with all the imperfections. The imperfections are what makes it interesting. And in that moment I realized I was truly happy, and it proves that I don’t need perfection to be happy. This realization, coming from a self proclaimed, life long perfectionist, is kind of a big deal.
So yeah, I would say that the ocean, while it may be a bit of a stretch to say it cures anything, it damn well helps me in more ways than one.