Every time I visit my friends on Fire Island I get up early and go for long walks. For years I’ve been trying to get a glimpse of this elusive red fox that so many people on the island seem to see early in the morning. On one of my long morning walks I was reminded of the restorative nature of the ocean. I inhaled the salty moist air deeply into my lungs. It felt like a treat after living near fresh water for 6 years. The carefully placed fencing in the sand dunes reminded me of the locals’ efforts to restore, protect, and preserve the dunes after they were leveled by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The relentless shushing motion of the waves reminds me that nothing stays in a state of permanence. Everything is constantly moving, evolving, and smoothing out the rough edges over time. The same way the ocean waves round out the sharp, jagged edges on shells and glass. Or the way the waves can wash up new marvels everyday, so filled with life.
On the first day of my visit small pebbles and shells were left behind. The second day they were replaced by a line of stringy brown seaweed marking the tide line. Day three brought hundreds of clear jellies who lay shimmering helplessly in the sand.
The waves also attracted some visitors from the land. A mother and her fawn licked each other clean in the early morning rays.
Throughout my visit I collected shells each day at the beach. I got up super early my last day to be near the waves one last time before catching the ferry. I took my piles of shells. Standing before the ocean, I named each one before releasing it back to smooth out my worries and troubles. To hold my thoughts and dreams. To keep them evolving while smoothing out the rough edges.
The ocean, a place of transformation and restoration.