My eyes were closed the first time the water rushed up past my ankles. I didn’t open them, just clutched your hand tighter in mine. I heard the seagulls and felt the spray on my face, wondering how long it had been since I had been there. This was old news to you, you didn’t even look at the water but instead kept your eyes focused on my face. When I opened them, my tears mingled with the sea for the first time and you kissed me silently on the forehead. You wrapped your arms around me and I relaxed.
Sometimes I wonder how you knew how much I needed the ocean. How important it was for me to stand there with you, breathing in the same rhythm we had shared from the moment we met. In the morning, I woke you with a kiss, my ponytail bobbing behind as a bounced away to draw a bath where we sat for hours watching the waves crash against the rocks. I saw you turn into an old man. A milestone birthday came and went, a christmas morning where we unwrapped only each other and exchanged only love.
Nothing can take those moments from me. The ones that only you and I share. The double rainbow outside of san fransisco. Drawing hearts in the sand and snapping photos of the hotel beds with twisted covers. Paying twenty dollars for that cheesey sticker cause you just can’t seem to say no to anything that makes me smile. You rescued my sunglasses, more than once and we stopped at the prettiest waterfalls we could find. We take the long way up the coast, stood in a real life castle with ancient pottery and ripple-less swimming pools. I attempt to take every shell that’s kissed the shoreline back home with me and ended up with pocket fulls. You teased me about taking the ocean home with me, and laughed when I found your own stash of shells. Those shoes that sit by my front door still have sand in em, sometimes I slip my feet in to them just so I go back there. Back to the edge of everything.
We love, you and I. The way that they always talk about in books that never really felt like… truth. A solid careful love, where jack johnson sings softly in the background and our feet stay tapping in sync. A soft and brilliant light that illuminates the very best parts of me, and shows me all of the parts Ive wanted to bring out in myself. An acceptance unlike anything Ive ever imagined. Finally, A home.
You convinced me, you know. I told you marriage was archaic and unnecessary, you smiled and laced your fingers into mine. Running your thumb along the bright blue pipe cleaner ring you made me that Id been wearing for months. You had me, and you knew it, even if I was a reluctant catch. Even when I pretended not to be totally and utterly smitten.
I’m standing in the sand, feeling the water pull the pebbles from underneath my feet. The ocean pulls me to it, as it has always done, but this time you are there. You keep me from jumping in and swimming away, you hold me closer. Pulling my stocking cap down over my brow and rubbing my arms briskly. I’d never been, not really anyway, to the coast. Why then does it feel like home?
You’ve taught me how to love.