Last night, actually early evening, I had another date with the ocean--the Atlantic Ocean. We've been having a summer rendezvous. For the last couple of weeks, if the weather permits, around five o'clock, I look forward to jumping in my car and taking the ten-minute drive to Jones Beach. The love affair has been distant, though, since I've admired the long stretch of beach from afar while taking the two-mile walk along the boardwalk. Last night was different, though.
It was as though the ocean demanded my attention, the waves more raucous than usual. Therefore, instead of maintaining my routine, I kicked off my sandals and plowed through the sand, making my way toward the water's edge. By that time, the sunbathers were few and scattered, leaving the ocean and me to ourselves. With each overarching wave, I felt a tug on me, as if attempting to draw me in, but I was content with the foamy seawater splashing my feet, then my ankles, but backed away when it appeared to want to submerge me.
As a child, the only body of water that was nearby was a pond, one that a neighbor's cows drank from. So I wasn't familiar with large bodies of water. Actually, until recently, I found them intimidating. I used to be afraid of drowning, always staying in the shallow end, no matter if it were a pond, a pool, or a lake. Yet, last night, I felt tempted, as though I could have walked out into the ocean without stopping while allowing the riptide carry me wherever it wished. Still, I decided not to let the deep blue with its many secrets own me and headed back toward the boardwalk only to feel the tickle of a wave chase after me.