I had never seen the ocean before.
In the early 90's, Life took me on a journey from Kansas to Washington State. After leaving a Sacramento pitstop before the sun arrived, I found myself several hours later a passenger on Oregon's pacific coastal highway.
I was dozing in and out but I remember the freshness of the air awakening me. It had hints of my childhood when my parents had taken us kids down to Burbon Street and the wind carried the gulf into town. But there, I was distracted by the sights and sounds of the busy city. On the 101, there was only the darkness, the faint sound of the radio, and the salt making its way through the trees and into me. I was excited to meet the ocean but I would have to wait until morning.
When the sun rose, I went out to greet it. I was overcome with wanting to be in it. It was glorious. Expansive. Welcoming.
I ran into it. I didn't question its depth. I didn't question its temperature. AND I didn't question if it was safe.
I ran in thigh level. It was freezing and when I came out I had an insane reaction where I was exposed to the water.
Great. I was allergic to the ocean.
I didn't care. Maybe I should have.
But I would run into the ocean many more times during that Life I lived in the Pacific Northwest.
Every time it felt worth it. As crazy as that sounds.
Every single time.