The lure of blue

blueBy Ellen Fussell

My favourite colour is blue. All different shades: from inky navy to electric blue and pastel shades plus everything in between. But my most favourite blues are the ones you find at the beach. I love the ocean, and as we get closer the saltiness in the breeze teases my senses. Then as the watercolour landscape comes into view, the sky, clouds, ocean sprinkled with the icing of breaking waves, blinding reflection of the sun and swirls of retreating water, all lure me closer.

My body is warmed to the core by the sun’s rays and I feel the little balls of tension inside me start to melt away and drift off in the breeze. The sound of the waves breaking drowns out all the other noises in my head. The sand burns into the soles of my feet only for my toes to find relief in the cool grains closer to the water.

The temperature extremes shock me as I walk slowly into the water and the coldness takes my breath away before the water reaches my knees. But for that moment, I think of nothing else in the world other than savouring the feeling of the ocean tugging at my legs.

By the time the water reaches my ribs I know that soon the waves will remove any control I have about when I am going to get wet. So instead I fill my lungs and dive under. As my fingertips graze the sand and feel the sharpness of a stray shell, the wave sweeps the hair back from my face and my head breaks the surface with salty tears dripping from my lashes as I blink into the glare of the sunlight and the noise rushes my ears.

Little bubbles of air pop all over my skin and feel like they sweep away all my worries into the giant blue expanse. My toes try to grip the ocean floor but soon stop struggling as the current forces me to float. And everything else that has been dragging me down joins the bubbles on their journey to the surface and disappears into the swirling water.

I can’t decide if I want to attack the waves with my side and have my ears fill up with the crashing water or if I should gracefully bob up over the top of them like a cork. More often than not I decide to dive under and feel the surge of the breaking wave pass over me as I stretch out from my fingertips to toes hugging the sandy bed.

I long to be ten again when I could stay submerged for hours. But as I start to lose feeling in my toes and hands, the warmth of the sand and sun brings me back to shore so that I can lie down watching the vast blue horizon while I slowly warm my soul. The salt dries in little circles all over my body and my skin crackles as I shift in the sand to get comfortable.

I could lie here forever.

It’s with hesitation that I steel myself for the cold shower to rinse off the pieces of the ocean that I have carried with me. The icy darts prickle my skin and I have to hold my breath as I put my head under. The sensation of the cold fresh water stays with me because my hair drips down my back long after I am done.

Even though I have tried to rinse away the sand and the salt, I will savour the ocean starch in my hair and the small grains of sand behind my ears and under my nails for the rest of the day. Soon we head for home with the sounds of the beach disappearing behind us. As the wind envelops me through the window of the car and dries the last of the water, I start the countdown to return to the blue.

  1. I can feel the sand and the water as I read your little reverie.

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