You and Me and the Sea
It's been 80 days since I last held my breath and dove under the waves.
It was late September when I grabbed my chair and my Asbury Park teen beach badge (I look 12) and plopped down in front of the ocean.
I brought a sweatshirt that day, in case of a cold fall breeze, but the air was still. I stretched out. I looked at the children, their heads bobbing in the sea. I jumped up from my chair and into the ocean.
It was warm; over 65 degrees, for sure. I read recently that Bruce Springsteen, a fellow Monmouth County dweller, swims in the ocean until November. I believe it. The ocean is warmer in the fall than the air that surrounds it.
I swam for an hour that day, knowing it would be my last until June. All summer long, after every sick spell and hospitalization, I had gone straight to the ocean and jumped in. A baptism, of sorts. My orientation, back into the outside world.
Now that it is cold, and the New York City wind stings my face, I wish for nothing more than the ocean. For me, it is my only healer.
And so I will sit at my desk, Googling flights to Costa Rica and Miami until spring breaks and the summer sea welcomes me once again.