This afternoon found us at the beach on base for a wonderful hour of sunshine, chasing seagulls, and getting our feet wet. Oh, and picking up just a few of those pretty rocks. Really, just a few.
The drive from our house to the beach takes barely ten minutes, most of which is spent winding through the airfields on base. Then we swing around the bend and there it is - the water. It's not even technically the ocean, but the Chesapeake Bay, but that long stetch of water is always such a welcome sight. When we lived in Rhode Island we saw the ocean nearly everyday, on almost every errand. Here, we don't live far from the shore but it is out of the way of our daily travels and I might go a month at a time without seeing the water.
Don and I are always talking about where we might ultimately want to settle down, or even where we would most like to move next. Of course, as long as we remain in the Coast Guard waterfront living is more or less assured, but we've agreed that to be near the ocean is a priority for us no matter what. So when did two (inland) Connecticut natives become so enamored with the ocean?
I thought about this while we walked today and have come to the very basic conclusion that the ocean, in a very abstract sense, has become part of what defines me and my "adult" life. I grew up in Connecticut, went to college in Connecticut, and spent our first year of marriage in Connecticut. Then along came the Coast Guard which has taken us to Rhode Island and Maryland in just three years. While we are still not THAT far from home, the chance to live in new parts of the country has broadened my world in more ways than I knew I needed. Life is such an adventure right now, and so good, and that is what I think about every time we are at the ocean: "This is me, this is our life, we live in places where the water is just a few minutes away." It's very simple but it's the best I can do to capture my frame of mind these days.