I made it back there.
I felt it. That familiar feeling of salty wind making my hair dance. I saw it. That familiar murky water breathing out across the stones, and breathing back in towards itself. I was back there. Back to the place where my heart soars and my soul is free. A couple of weeks ago, I walked across part of the Norfolk coast. I visited a new seaside town, but my senses were all alert in that oh so familiar way. Because this is my happy place, the place I feel most at home.
I went back to the place where the sky meets the sea, and the Earth is greeted by the ocean. I went back to the place where I can always find myself. If I’ve been struggling, hurting or feeling a little lost, this is the place I need to be. Back to where nature leads its own course. I’m free to observe, and watch in awe. This time I was happy before my long overdue meeting with the sight. I was overjoyed to be there. My cheeks ached from smiling. We stayed less than an hour. That was all I needed. Just that glimpse. A simple touch upon my skin. A simple horizon line in my view. I could taste the salt. The air is different here. It’s restless, relentless. It’s brutal and harsh, but so are the waves. I can easily be here and remain untouched. I can surround myself in the violence of it all, and see nothing but beauty. This is nature, stripped back to the basics. It’s raw and it’s comforting.
As the ocean continued to breath, I soaked in all my surroundings. I noted the couple in the distance walking along the sand, whilst their dog frolicked in the sea. I watched my dog bound about, sniffing the ground, running towards the sea. I watched as she suddenly remembered her fear of water and turned away from it. My mum was off in the distance, snapping photos of the smaller details that captured her eye. A photograph of me in the mix, with my hair resembling a pineapple (that one can remain unseen). My finger rested on my camera’s shutter button, snap happy as always. This was where our trip really began. My mind at ease, my wonder at full climax, my inspiration soaring.
We were finally doing what I’d dreamt of. Those long days I’d spent dreaming of a visit near the Earth’s edge were here. This was no daydream. My imagination could never produce sights like these. At least not the ones that leave me speechless. The ones where no words are needed because nothing else matters. We were exploring somewhere new. I was with my favourite human, and my favourite non-human. This was the start of a blissful week away, hidden in the heart of Norfolk. We were free from obligation, and we spent most of it outdoors. We spent so much time near the ocean, near lakes, near rivers. We found ourselves surrounded by trees and walking through mud tracks. I no longer had to imagine the views, the smells and the sounds. I could embrace them. Inspiration was founded, and it blossomed. It began with a few grains of sand in my shoes.
Nature never seizes to amaze or fascinate me. The way it makes me feel is indescribable. I keep trying to find the words, but they aren’t here. They don’t exist. I am a thalassophile, and for that reason alone the ocean is my treasure. The seashells, the beach houses, the fish and chip tradition, they’re all great. But you could leave me to watch the waves all day, and I’d still want to stay for a while longer. Let me watch how the water crashes, how the tide comes in. Leave me to fall asleep under the stars and wake to the sound of water eroding the edges of the Earth. It’s a type of destruction that I’m oddly obsessed with, and can’t seem to get enough of. I want to feel the wind against my face, feel it in my hair forever. I want the sound of waves to be on endless repeat forever. I want to see the edge of the Earth, or what I believe to be the edge, forever.
I want to hold on to the way the coast captures all of my senses forever. Perhaps this is why I love the experience so much; I can’t have it forever. Life goes on, and I can’t spend my days unmoving on a sandy shore. However, I’ll spend as many moments as I can on the cliffs or on the beach. I’ll continue to find the ocean again and again. The view will leave me speechless, the wind will steal my breath, and I will be elated. This, is my own personal haven.