Ocean Therapy

I grew up in New York. I grew up spending summers at my great grandparent’s summer cottage on the North Fork. I grew up swimming in the bay and the sound. Bodies of water which are gray or dark green. Murky with lots of unknown beasties ready to pinch a toe or suddenly squish under a foot. We would always go in no matter the weather (unless there was lightning) and no matter the temperature. I will admit that there was a brief swimming respite the summer Jaws came out. But that aside, I don’t ever remember not swimming because I thought that the water was cold.

Fast forward many years later and here I am living in Hawaii. Living in Hawaii where, when I go to the ocean, I generally feel like I want to go in. I always feel like I want to go in. I am on the beach. I am hot. Maybe sweaty. The water is blue, blue, blue and clear. And I want to go in. But then I get to the water’s edge. I walk out to my waist and suddenly I am freezing. The slight cooling breeze feels like an arctic wind. I get goose bumps. And then I turn around and escape to the warm sand. Wrap myself in a towel and warm up. I am always chided by people who remind me that I am from New York. While that may be true, after living in tropical climates for over ten years, I can say that while I may never be Hawaiian, when it comes to my body’s reaction to the weather, I’m about as local as they come.

Lately I have been feeling not great. Off. Anxious. Not great. I remembered years ago when I would boogie board and there was something mystical about being in the water. I remember that being in the ocean made me feel right, pono. So after feeling not so good for a few days I decided that I had to get in the ocean on Sunday. Really get in the ocean. Complete submersion. A salt water baptism. Due to the sporting event going on down by Kapiolani Park, we ended up at Ala Moana. A place full of small children, stand up paddle boarders and swimmers. We found a good spot (although not good enough for my son) and I decided to just go in. So unlike me. I worried as I walked to the water’s edge that I would wuss out. That I would stand up to my waist gazing forlornly across the water wishing I could do it. But I knew as soon as my toe hit the water that this would not be the case. The water felt almost warm and inviting. There was no arctic wind blowing. I walked out and then took the plunge literally. Without my glasses the entire world turns to extreme fuzziness. And that was OK. I was under water and floating on the water. I was out where I couldn’t touch in the bluey blueness of the ocean. It was good stuff.

I’m not going to say that I was healed. That I was miraculously feeling fine. That was not the case. But I felt better. I felt calmer. More grounded. In my head? Likely. Does it matter? Not a bit. I’m considering going back for some more this weekend. Look for me. I’ll be the one who goes right in, all the way, with no hesitation.

About nematomorph

Living like the rich and famous, splitting time between Hawaii and New York.
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1 Response to Ocean Therapy

  1. maukamakai says:

    Spent last week at the beach with friends. Submerged in mother ocean every day. At night the water was still warm. And the stars. The Milky Way. We did a sunset goddess swim, me, two mama friends, the warm ocean on our bare skin. Yes, bare. The way the ocean held me, without judgement, just complete acceptance, it is a blessing, a baptism, a washing of the past, embracing the present. Like a newborn. It is perfection.

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