What moves me both literally and figuratively is the sea. Throughout my life, in the darkest times and the best, the sea has always connected with my soul. Whether it’s the mirror-still surface of an estuary at first light or the salty spray of ferocious waves launching over walls and buildings in deep winter, it thrills and transports me. For me, one day around the water is more restorative than three days rest in any other environment.
What moves me both literally and figuratively is the sea.
I understand from speaking to friends that forests and mountains can similarly move them. I can appreciate the wonder of these places but somehow the knee-quaking fear at the top of a ski slope and the anxiety of getting lost in a labyrinth of trunks hold me back from totally surrendering myself and feeling true joy. The sea is equally as perilous but amongst those dangers I feel at home. Battling through overfalls or heeled over on a beam reach, my emotions soar and every mundane daily worry is left behind.
The water inspires me to activity. Despite growing up as the chronically unsporty one in an otherwise athletic family, whenever I’m near the water I’m dying to dive in. I love the feeling of the water coursing over my skin and my muscles working to cut through the resistance of the waves. I like overcoming the biting cold, feeling it transition to numbness and then deceptive warmth. Almost as good is climbing out, snuggling up in towels and chunky jumpers, nursing a hot drink and feeling the sensation coming back into your limbs as pins and needles.
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The water inspires me to activity.
Little can beat gently paddling across the surface on a kayak or paddleboard, up close and personal with the marine life. Magical moments occur when the water clears and you see shoals of colourful fish beneath you or curious seals surface in front of you blowing. In those moments I quiet my breath, hold my paddle in close and let the water move me quietly by.