Deerfield Beach, Florida
I woke up in time to see the sun rising up out of the ocean this morning. After spending more than one summer vacation on the Gulf coast, I can easily claim to have seen a few sunsets on the ocean, but this was my first sunrise. The crispness of the light blue sky contrasted against the deep blue of the ocean -- all pinned into place by a fiery yellow ball -- was ... peaceful. It's how mornings should start, with a vast vista of nature's beauty spread before you. Not an alarm clock screaming at you. Not ensconced in a dark, cramped room where you lay on your back listing all the things you need to get done that day. Just you and the ocean.
I sill think the greatest sound on Earth is the sound of the ocean breaking on the beach. The steady sound of the waves cresting and rolling into the beach seems to automatically unravel layer upon layer of tension until there is only the sound of the surf in your mind. But for me, the ocean acts as a subconscious trigger. Nearly every summer as a child, my family drove down to Florida for summer vacation. We would spend a day or two at the beach, and other than the inevitable sunburns, the ocean is associated with a wealth of positive memories.
I've often wondered if I would still appreciate the ocean if I lived near it. Would I still stop that the first sight of it everyday and sigh with a mix of relief and awe? I like to think so. I've grown up in Northern Kentucky and there are certain turns in the highways around where I live that give me pause or put a smile on my lips when I reach them to see the hills rise up around me, the mist weaving through the trees before burning off in the rising morning sun. I am always glad to return home at the end of a trip. I have enjoyed the places I've been this year, but there is always a sense of relief to see my Kentucky hills again. However, I know when I fly out of here today, I will miss the ocean and the soft sounds she makes.