16 November 2012

The Sea and Me

I didn't grow up near the ocean, and it was a rare treat to go to an Atlantic beach a few times each summer. When I checked the map just now, I was surprised to see that it was a mere two hour drive, as it was a major effort to convince my parents to make the infrequent trek. My mother hated sand, and my father was happy to bob around with me in the closest body of water, the pool at our apartment complex.

Although I attended college in a Florida beach town, and began my career on the southern California coast, I didn't forge a bond with the ocean until a job took me back to the Sunshine State and I tried surfing for the first time. My first ride on a 10-foot foamie in knee-high waves forged a link that can never be broken.

When the vagaries of the job market took me to Seattle, I gamely bought a 5-mil wetsuit and drove two-and-a-half hours to the coast on weekends to kook it up in cold whitewater, whenever the swell wasn't huge and blowout. And I made a promise to myself, on those dark rainy days when I hadn't surfed for far too long: I would never, ever again live far from the ocean. It's a part of me, and I am a part of it.

For the last six years, I've had the good fortune to work in Silicon Valley and live half an hour's drive from my home break, the Jetty in Half Moon Bay. But I was recently laid off, and will likely have to relocate. Where? I don't know. But it has to be near Mother Ocean.

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