Mermaids

Chasing Dreams

I am a writer. Except for the part where I don’t write because ____________ {insert excuse, here}. So as a reminder to myself . . . I opened a file in Word I hadn’t seen in awhile. I am a writer. I should, you know, write more. Here’s an excerpt from a novel idea. 

I am made of salt and sand and the deep jade green of the Atlantic. The salt air courses through my veins. This place, these waves, the sea glass and shells with rounded edges, beaten constantly in the surf, are the pieces and places of my very soul.

The heady scent of the ocean air tells me I’m finally home, though I’m not at all conscious of having lived near this shore. In the setting sun of a July evening, the billowing thunderheads in the distance play with the sun. Shadows and light dance on the surface of the ocean at once bringing out the sparkle, and then moments later shrouding the light in darkness. “So this is it?” I ask no one. Home. The word and all of its implications fill me with competing emotions. I look back towards the car, parked a hundred yards away in the parking lot of the town’s traffic circle. It’s the center of this beach town, on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

I turn back to the ocean and breathe deeply, taking it all in. Just up the road is the house I bought, sight unseen, sitting first row, pointed towards the sea. I have spent a lifetime, nearly thirty-six years, dreaming of what it would be like to find the place where I began, to return to my beginnings. To the place where I had been knit together in my mother’s womb. When I was a child, before I had been adopted and lived a life of flitting and floating between countless foster and group homes, I made day trips to the beaches of Southern California. In the course sand of those crowded beaches, I convinced myself that I might as well have been a mermaid for all I really knew. One thing I knew for sure, in the deepest part of my being? I belonged to the sea.

Somehow, as I would stand there, as a kid, wearing my church charity last year’s style bathing suit, I knew that the sea called me, and would continue to call me . . . home.

I made up my story on those summer afternoons at Newport Beach. Sometimes the characters changed – usually when I’d seen a movie that captured my imagination. Or when I’d read a new book, like Island of the Blue Dolphins. But the sea had always been my home base no matter the cast of characters that came and went from the story. A rumble of thunder, deep and booming shook me – bringing me right back into the present. I take off in a jog towards my car, determined now to get to the new house before the deluge of rain that threatened from the distance, unleashed itself.

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