This Sea

The stretch of ocean between Gnarabup and Surfers Point is where my heart lies. I know that stretch of water and sand like it is part of me.  I see the textures of the surface change with the winds, the shades of the blue change with the days and the steep rise of the sand change with the season. On this short stretch of coastline I have ended a relationship, will scatter my dog’s ashes, grown from a girl into a woman, cried into the ocean, laughed around the ocean, and every day, looked at it and thought how my heart belongs there. I have found many treasures along those shores, treasures that not every human sees the value in. To those of us whose hearts lay within the sea, our treasures are more simple – we find value in a sea urchin, a piece of sea glass, in an unusual piece of seaweed, in a broken shell. People of the sea treasure life in different ways.

On this beach I can sit with my dad while he fishes and watch him point out the familiar stingrays, and see his quiet delight when he sees one that he has not seen for a while. In the corner near the Café my Dad is known as the King Squid Fisher, always with a glass of red. In this sea I have swum with my mum and marvelled at the blue of her eyes, and wished I had my camera in that moment. In this sea I have washed away the heavy dust that gathers after long nights out, and lay on the warm sand thinking never again.  In this sea I have kissed a boy and felt strangely homesick, and known that it was not right.  In this sea I have had some of my happiest times with my SaltySeaDog. I have watched her roll in the sand like her life depended on it, I have watched her swim after me nearly all the way out to the reef. I have seen her steal picnics, claim other humans as her own and bask in the sun. I have lost her many times in the sand dunes, and yelled till my voice was hoarse and I wanted to disown her. I have watched her swim after countless sticks in the clear blue water, and I have watched her become quiet and old on this sand in her illness, before I knew she was ill. After I put Salty to sleep, this sea was the first place I went. It’s my place, my sea, and has held so many different versions of myself here.