The Ocean Breathes Salty

Never have I felt such an attraction to a place that I fear so much.

Each time I enter the sea an overwhelming sense of belonging and homecoming spreads through my body, as if in response to some dormant, unremembered history.

It is my happy place, a place that stirs dreams and fantasies, and terrifies me.

When I have days of stress or nights full of panic, it’s to the ocean floor I sink. To wait. To listen and be moved along with the currents, the swell making me sway as a child in a mothers arms drifting from calamity to calm in the rhythmic beats.

It’s here that I am finally weightless, free from the reality of gravity to swoop and glide like I’m sure I was born to do. My dreams hint at this, giving glimpses of flight but never more than a whisper that fades when sleeper wakes.

Down here it’s as real as the air in my lungs, that natural timer that counts down until the ride ends and the players surface gasping, elated and panicked in equal measure.

Yes, my happy place scares me. It frightens me in ways that no terrestrial activity can. In reality I have no business being under the water, no birthright and certainly no way to breathe unaided. I fear the very place that I retreat to in times of anxiety, but at the end of that very exhaustive day the joy it grows in my heart outweighs the ultimate terror of the mind.