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I carry the ocean within me...

The other day I was thinking about how surprising it is that I am so content living away from the shore. I've always been drawn to the sound of water lapping, of waves breaking...

When we lived in Gurnee, Illinois I felt so landlocked. One summer day, when I thought I simply couldn't take it any more, I packed a picnic lunch, whisked up the girls, and drove to an isolated spot on the shore of Lake Michigan. We ate our lunches listening to the water as it tickled the rocks on the shore. Lake Michigan is so vast that it was as if we were sitting by the ocean. We closed our eyes and pretended we were...

The gods must have sensed my needs, because several months later we moved to Hawaii. There, as the lazy Sunday afternoon progressed to early evening, we'd pile into the car and drive to Makaha to watch the orange beachball of sun as it dropped behind the horizon. As it touched the water and disappeared, we thought we could hear its angry hiss as it was snuffed out. Then, as the darkness enveloped us, we would snuggle close to each other and listen to the voice of the ocean, mesmerized by it's soothing rhythm. The coming in and the going out of the waves and the tides, as eternal as a mother's love, rocked us into a luscious peacefulness. The perfect ending to another perfect day.

Now I live in a beautiful little town in central Pennsylvania. I carry the ocean within me. But as I sit outside in my garden listening to the wind rustle the leaves far above my wicker perch, I'm struck by how equally soothing and satisfying that sound is to me now. Where did this breeze start? From what distant land? Did it start as a butterfly unfurled its wings for the first time? Or is it from the breath of distant lovers as they blew kisses to each other?

My restlessness is lessening as I embrace the person I've become. Where once only the waves could satisfy my soul, now, as the wind carries my imagination, I'm content to be wherever I am; each day more fully aware of my part in the ebb and flow of life.

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