A sign in the bedroom of my cottage at the sea reads “I come to the sea to breathe.” When I saw it in a shop I had to have it because it describes my feeling upon arriving at the sea—I can breathe. It is not that the air in Gig Harbor is so very foul. On the contrary, many mornings I marvel at the smell of the Doug Firs and flowers, but there you don’t have the smell of the sea.
Last night we took the dog and went to the Sid Snyder beach approach and walked along the boardwalk to the mid-point where we plunked ourselves down to watch the sunset. I let the sound of the breakers and the wind in the grass and smell of salt and seaweed wash over me, releasing the stress of my early summer and savoring the icy blue the ocean becomes just at sunset.
I love the sea in all it's moods from stormy to peaceful. During the Easter storm several years ago Dave went up to North Head Lighthouse to look at it. I prefer that stormy sea from the comfort of our car on a beach approach, but the power of the breakers crashing on shore is both humbling and energizing.
I know for a fact that there are people who live on the coast who go for weeks, months and even years without getting out on to the beach. I don’t understand it. I’m not just talking about folks like my mother who do not have a car and can’t go unless someone takes them. I’m talking about perfectly fit people so caught up in their day to day lives that they never stop and smell the sea. They live in one of the prettiest parts of the world and fail to realize it. I am very sorry for them.