My son has the brine of the sea on him. I can smell it as we lay curled together on the hard bed in this borrowed house. I like it here. I have laughed more this day than I have all holidays.
I like the salt in the air, the waft of it left in the well of the sink, caught in my sunscreened elbows. I like the sand too. Gritty under my feet on the floorboards. Preferable to the trudging mud of home.
I like the drive. Windows down, all of us straining to get the first glimpse of blue as we crest the hill.
I see it! I see the ocean! There mum!
My daughter’s round nosed face always turned towards it like a beacon. So much like me, her curls whipping around her face. Smiling into the breeze, with grit in her teeth.
Sometimes I wonder if it would lose its magic, this restless beast, it we lived next to it all year round. I don’t think so. The crash calls to me. I want to walk into the sucking tide, just to see where it would take me. Roar my challenge to the wind and take a running dive. I used to just swim straight out into the sea when I was young, and the water makes me feel that reckless again. As though I am all heart, not trapped in this wide, painful vessel.
I was a lion once, I tell the sea as I pace its soft fine shore.
You could be again, it replies.