The Ocean Grounds Me

You can’t run straight into a wave. It will knock you down and you will swallow too much salt water, making your throat burn. It will get in your eyes, and it will all just hurt. No one told me you had to dive into the wave to get through it. This Minnesota-born girl ran blindly into the ocean after her friends in Peru, oblivious to how the ocean worked. This was my second time ever in the ocean, and despite my rough start, we formed a wonderful bond.

Our first apartment in Peru overlooked the dark Pacific, the large vast ocean lapping at the cliffs that kept us all dry. The ocean pulled me in like it did the tides. I was drawn to the roaring sound of the waves hitting the rocks. It was always consistent. As much as the ocean terrified me, I loved it and was content to just sit and listen to it.

Costa Rica brought a different kind of ocean, much more tropical with sandy beaches as opposed to the sharp rocks in Lima. This is where I gained the courage to go further into the ocean, floating in the clear blue water with my sister and friends. While I loved the paradise that was the water in Costa Rica, I missed the dark waters of my Pacific in Lima. We moved back to Peru and I was reunited with my favorite coastal city. On foggy days you could look out and not be able to tell where the ocean ended and the horizon began.

I miss waking up to the salty air and seeing the small dots of surfers on the water paddling out to catch a wave back in. My love for the ocean runs deep and being near any ocean in any part of the world seems to ground me. As if I can feel at home anywhere as long as I am near the water, the ocean stays true, ever constant. The air smells the same, the waves have the same roar and crash, and if I close my eyes, I can choose a city to reminisce about and it will feel like I’m there. The ocean feels like home.