Its time for me to join in with the wonderful Write on Wednesday (WoW) linky; this week’s spark being Nature.
“Think about a place in nature that feels special to you. Perhaps it is somewhere you visited as a child. Or maybe you share a special outdoor space with your own children. This place, this space will be your prompt for this week’s writing exercise. Write about a particular natural geography, a natural place or space close to your heart. Tell us about the weather, the landform , the creatures who live there, what the place means to you and why. You can write prose fiction, poetry, non-fiction and/or a photographic narrative. You might mix the landscape with a personal story. Wherever the prompt take you…Let us peek into your place.”
It’s the same old scenario of unappreciated love heard the world over – you don’t know how much you cherish something until it’s taken away. Hence I never knew how much I needed the ocean until I moved (15,000kms!) away.
For the first 21 years of my life I lived in a beautiful, coastal town. Growing up, the beach was about a 7 minute drive away. And when I first moved out of home, at age 19, the sea was literally at the end of my (long) street.
Moving to London in 2001, besides many other massive life realisations, brought to my attention how much I missed the sweet, salty ocean, the vast expanses of golden sand, and the crystal clear view of a cobalt blue horizon.
It was 3 months until I was reunited with my long lost watery love and I still recall the day vividly. As we rounded a precarious hair pin bend, suddenly we were greeted with the breathtaking view that was the coastline of the French Rivieria. I let out an audible sigh of relief. My world seemed to level out to its correct axis when I knew there was water near by. And it was in that moment I realised I hadnt known just how much I missed it.
Sure, on the (rare) summery London day I lamented the fact there was no near the sea, not to mention I couldn’t grasp the fact that people would traipse to a public park to strip off, settle back in their stripy green and white sun lounges and sun-bake… But it wasn’t until that instance above, that I knew I needed the ocean in my life. It was almost akin to feeling quite claustrophobic without it close-by!
And even though I swam along the picturesque Amalfi coast and over on nearby Isle of Capri; I sunned myself in the world’s most well known stretches of coastline, where the famous frolic, and the powerful people play on the French Riviera, I’ve cooled off on Greek Islands such as Crete, Santorini and Ios, on the Sicilian island Lipari, as well as the Mafia country itself, none have ever had the same pull as the beaches I had left behind in Oz.
It’s almost hard to articulate what it is that draws me to my hometown coastline over any other place in the world; only that when I step foot on it I feel a rush of something pure. I don’t even need to go into the water, I am content to simply sit, stare, contemplate, muse, for hours. Its my happy place. It brings inspiration, peace and, at times, comfort.
I watch the sunlight twinkle on the sea, dancing like a bejewelled ballerina; I witness the majesty of nature with her perfectly formed, foamy waves, and I see a coastline untainted by any imposing over development. It stretches on, as if arms open wide, welcoming me into its fold. And I am home.