I put down my towel and dropped off my sandals. I strolled across the warm sand, feeling more like a warming drawer and less like a frying pan in the morning sun. The small pebbles rubbing against the large cut I got from stubbing my toe. Tiny bugs running by my feet as they started up their days. It was that time. I was ready for my swim.
I jump into the water, and slowly freestyle into the rising sun. The cold water splashing against my warm skin, it was like a sip of ice cold lemonade on a hot summer afternoon.
As I swim off into the distance, I leave my problems back on shore. I am happy now. I don’t need headphones to listen to, I have the waves to soothe me instead.
I think about how I grew up in these waters, on these beaches, in a little town on the East Coast of Florida. When I was 12, I would go to these waters every morning to get my morning exercise, this was like another home for me. I feel like when I leave this sanctuary, I leave my heart with it. The crystal clear ocean a parent to me. The only parent I ever truly knew. The only parent who ever got to truly know me.
As I swim further out, I wonder why everyone is so scared of this place. Maybe it is the hurricanes which erupt every summer. Maybe that movie “Jaws” had something to do with it. I never saw that movie, thought of it as just a detriment to these great sea creatures. You can’t live thinking that way. That something will come out of the deep blue and kill you. There are a lot more sharks on land than in the water.
I reminisce how pools never did agree with me. That chemically controlled environment never did fit with my life style. It just isn’t the same as swimming off into the distance, seaweed wrapped around your leg, fish all around. Now that is the real thing.
You see that is the problem with society right now, we are trying to control these wild habitats. Whether it be killing sharks because we invaded their homes, or fishing with those gosh darn big spears and stabbing fish for our pleasure, it is all in an effort to control the ocean.
After swimming farther out, a sudden anger ripples through me, I decided it was my job to protect the ocean. At that moment, I declared out loud that I was going to found a non-government organization that would try to stop all of this sea animal cruelty, just to control the uncontrollable. Whenever I go take my early-morning swim I think of things like this, that is part of the thrill of going, but this is different. This is a family member.
I swim off into the distance to that bright orange glob, slowly rising in the distance, the ocean my cold tub before that glob of heat boils this ocean, nowhere else in the world I’d rather be.