Some people meander through life completely unaware of the pull of our bodies towards the sea. They enjoy the ocean, but when they leave, they dust the sand off and transition back into terrestrial life without blinking an eye.
Then there are those of us, young and old, who can taste the saltiness of our being everyday of our lives. We are pulled towards the ocean as if by some invisible, magnetic force. It doesn’t matter how far inland we are born.
We migrate to the sea with precision and purpose as soon as the cords to our childhood are cut. God has set our internal compass to lead us towards a salty body of water; like birds migrating south via some ancient, ancestral, homing instinct.
It’s a way of life. A need. A yearning. It hums in us everyday. We swim in the water like otters. It cloaks around us like the warm fluid of the womb.
Stepping out of it we don’t feel the need to rinse it off. Our eyelashes are dusted with salt and our sun bleached hair matted with it. Our skin always tastes of salt. We are different and it is obvious.
Those who pack their bags and head home have shells and pictures of a great time at the beach. Memories.
Surfers never really leave the ocean. We know it is inside us. Perfectly matched, life sustaining and flowing in our veins… the beat of our hearts thumping with the waves on the incoming tide.
With an urgency much like a fish on land gasping for water to fill its gills with oxygen, we need the salty ocean to fill our souls.
We are acutely aware of the sea within us.
Jody Marr is a surfer and writer living in Rockport, Texas. She makes it a priority to spend quality water time with her husband and young daughter. Photograph provided by the author.