I Went to the Shore

photoI was born near water. I am not an avid (or skillful) swimmer and I don’t enjoy lying on the beach sunning myself, what with the high probability I’d burst into vampiric flames, pale as I am. But oh, my, I do love being near the water. Specifically, I crave the sound and spray and the whisper-and-crash sounds of moving water. Lakes and ponds are all well and good, but when I’m here in my present digs in north Texas, I’m not often close enough to the lakes and rivers to get as attached to them as to I am my bloodstream as it flows in the million waterfalls of the Cascade and Olympic ranges and pours back into the heart of the Pacific Ocean.

So this summer’s travel was a homecoming in that way as well: returning to some of those places where I feel the most connected and whole. The people who fill my life come first, of course; wherever my great friends and loved ones are will always be home. The places I love to go, visit, work, play and stay anywhere in the world have their merits that designate them home when I’m there as well. But few things have the same depth of attachment that, ironically perhaps, does not ebb and flow but remains strong and steady at all times in me, the same compelling passion, as the sea.

It was good to be at the docks, the marinas, the edge of the ocean–on the shore again.photo

16 thoughts on “I Went to the Shore

    • Thank you, dear Nia, I am honored that a wonderful photographer like you has enjoyed my photos! I hope you’re enjoying a beautiful weekend, with lots of lovely cats in it!!

  1. I spent many a childhood afternoon at one of the beaches on Long Island’s south shore (Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Jones Beach), so in Austin I miss being only 20 minutes from an ocean. Because Galveston is at least three hours away, I end up there only once every so many years, and the Gulf of Mexico is never the same as the “real” Atlantic Ocean. I can understand why you miss your verdant and well-watered Northwest.

    • I do so want to get a chance to really explore New York and all of its wonders. A couple of short visits is simply not enough! And while Richard has been to Houston at least for a conference long ago, I’ve not been *anywhere* on or near the coast in TX, and that’s another experience that could be very interesting, perhaps as another road trip. But yes, we’ll still have to sandwich that in between regular sojourns to and on the west coast as well. Time and money are always too short to fit in even the homebound delights we crave. Guess I have to hope there’s an afterlife of some sort (preferably not too flame-licked) if I’m to have a remote chance of seeing and doing all of the things I’d love to see and do!

  2. Beautiful post, Kathryn! I love the water, love swimming and grew up spending many sun-burned days at the beaches in southern California. As I’ve gotten older and camped a lot with my hubby, we both have developed a love of fresh water, rivers and lakes…the ocean up here has great white sharks, occasionally, and is much colder. Die hard surfers go in anyway and our kids have gone in, but even now, they’re not as into it…I do love the beach, though, and the sound of the ocean and its soothing ways…love to walk along the sand, etc…it’s a very romantic place. I agree with you, though, on lying in the sun…those days are gone! White is good! 🙂 Anyway, lovely post and have a wonderful weekend. (someday my gravatar will work again, too)

    • Washington beaches do have that icy water thing going; though it can be delightful to wade in, I’m astounded anyone wants to actually *swim* in it. I’m also squeamish about the squirmy: I don’t like swimming in open water unless it’s super clear and I can see what’s all around me. I did my share of lake and river and even ocean splashing as a kid, but I don’t have any urge to revisit those moments of walking through slimy silt and stepping suddenly on some hidden sharp thingy or feeling something unseen brush past my quivering legs! Ooh, I think I’m feeling a scary campfire story coming on even now! But a little rowboat or canoe outing? Lovely. And walking the shore–sandy, grassy, rocky, whatever–is wonderful no matter what the weather.

    • I don’t know if you *did* something to fix it, but I’ve got a pretty picture of you as your gravatar when *I* look at the posts. And I do like that! Seeing your smile always brings me a smile as well!

  3. I’ve always lived near one of the Great Lakes, at least, and have spend plenty of time in and on them. Salt water, though, is not nearly so familiar and I’m fascinated by it, especially if I’m in an area with tidal pools. Come to think of it, it’s been over 10 years since I’ve been near an ocean. I have to do something about that. 🙂

    • Indeed you should! I can hardly bear 10 *weeks* without a good dose of the wide open seas, let alone a decade, but we all find ways to get along until we can manage the visits. 🙂

  4. Agree, wholeheartedly, with preference for clear water for swimming or even wading ankle deep– entirely too many unknowns have already established residential rights…

  5. Like you, I’m not a swimmer or sun-bather, but just love to be near water, to hear it, and smell it, perhaps wiggle my toes in it. There is a lovely waterfall just down the road from me, but I live far from the sea … the last vacation I had near it was with a friend about eleven years ago, on the New Hampshire coast in October. It was wonderful! XO

    • You are definitely overdue for some coastal R&R, Diane! So glad you have the loveliness of a waterfall nearby. Whether still or moving, large or small, water ‘features’ in nature are a potent refresher.

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