A view of the ocean just yards in front of me.
The scent of the sea and beach plum roses.
The sound of waves lapping on the shore, hitting the rocks to the right.

I feel… right.

Steady. Centered. Free. Capable of any and all. I don’t know why the ocean has this effect on me, but in all the years, and all the different coast lines – South Carolina, The Dominican, Thailand, Maine, California, North Carolina, Hawaii, Massachusetts – the effect is the same.

It reminds me of God.

It is deep and vast, dark and mysterious, strong and unpredictable. It also has current patterns and tides, and as I dive beneath it I am able to make all sorts of discoveries. And sometimes – as I witness large swells rising up, only to dissipate before breaking into white anger – it seems just plain merciful. More often than not, it is soothing to my soul. Just the sight, smell and sounds. No matter where I go in the world, the feeling of the coast is largely the same. Different temperatures and sea creatures and wave height. But it’s still salty and wet and the most refreshing thing in the world.