For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves that we find in the sea
Days stolen away, we flee to the open sea. A house set amidst trees, a sand path to the shore, a long pale sand beach, clear waters that are crystal colours of joy in the heart of the day and all that is muted solace in the evening.
On arrival, aching, tired and ragged-edged, having driven the two hours after work, school, drop offs, pick ups, packings, we walk the cool path in moonlight to the ocean.
And the sea.
It's been so long since I've spent time by surf and the sound surrounds and renews. The waves are only glistenings in night, but the surf sounds loud and brine is all around.
Meandering our return, lungs gorged on oceanic air, my wild ones squeal and attack strangers walking the path, thinking them relations arriving later.
We're at the beach. The unknowns take it in their stride. It's hard to fear four year olds, even ones who think they're raptors.
Entwined in wave-sound, on the third floor of a honey-gold house of stairs, among the treetops, we talk of ego-death, quarks, Cuchulain and Monkey Magic.
And the next day we swim. The sky is unclouded blue, the weather balmy, the waves gentle enough for seven year olds, but large enough for tweens. Within the waves shoals of silver fish swim.
Content is the sea. The sea is content.
Held replenished, I float and then swim under the surface. And the colours are completely satisfying. And I am replete with the sensations of ocean. Of the weight and fluid of water.
And I realise how I'd been craving the sensations of sand and surf.
My littlest is wary of the waves, having been dumped in the recent past. I kneel in the wet sand and build a sandcastle with first one small daughter then another. A tiny baby jellyfish, the size of my thumb rushes into, and then out of, our moat.
The moments are unrecorded. I don't have camera or phone - I came to the beach to swim and to be.
Later, as the light depart, I bring my camera down and take photos of my youngest in the shallows, learning the sea.
And it is Joy.
A perfect day.
And I relearn how very much I miss the sea.