It all started with our road trip to Myrtle Beach, SC, by way of Shreveport and Atlanta. We headed out around midnight and stopped at 5am to gamble for a few hours at the casino in Shreveport. After a free breakfast buffet, we took our winnings and got back on the highway. We hit Atlanta just as the morning rush hour was starting and we got lost as we cruised around looking for the Fulton County Stadium so Brian, an avid and almost maniacal baseball fan, could say he’d seen the stadium where the Atlanta Braves won the 1995 World Series.
We finally reached Myrtle Beach. We settled in to our ocean front room, showered and, because we’d been on the road for two days, crashed hard. The next morning we got up early and hit the beach.
Brian had never been to an east coast beach and it had been years since I’d been in Myrtle Beach. The day welcomed us with sunshine and balmy breezes and the ocean waves beckoned us with promises of fun and adventure. We goofed around in the water for quite a while then both of us got quiet and we just laid back and let the water wash over us, yielding to the push and pull of the waves.
There’s something so enchanting about the ocean water and the weightlessness that you feel as the waves lift and transport you. Brian says being in the ocean water feels like God has his arms around him.
I don’t know how much time had passed as I floated, scanning the expansive horizon and the far off waves, which glittered like diamonds in the sun’s beams. I turned to say something to Brian and was immediately overwhelmed to see how far I was from the shore. At the time I hadn’t realized it, but I was about 1/8th of a mile away from the shoreline, a little more than the length of two football fields. I started to panic, and the more I panicked, the farther out the waves took me. I yelled to Brian. He hadn’t noticed how far out I had drifted either. He could see the fear in my face and hear it in my voice. He kept telling me, “Just go with the waves. When the wave comes in, swim into it and let it bring you closer. I’m coming to get you. Just stay calm.”
It seemed like forever before he finally got to me. But he did and as soon as I fell into his arms I felt safe. I knew he’d bring me all the way back in. And he did. Just in time for a big wave to swipe the glasses off his face! Then it was my turn to rescue him. I took him by the hand and led him back to our hotel; he couldn’t see even mere inches in front of him. Of course it was the weekend and we had to wait until Monday morning to go see an optician and get him a new pair of glasses.
It was definitely a vacation where we learned the formidability of the great ocean and we both came away with deep reverence for its power.
The respect which I had always held for the ocean deepened to an awe of its tremendous deception. The ocean is a world foreign to the one that I’ve so self-confidently navigated on land. It moves to its own rules and is merciful to none. What happened to me sounds like such a tiny little incident in comparison to what others have experienced in the great depths of the ocean blue, but it was enough for me to admit complete inferiority and bow down to its great might. It also gave me trepidation to enter its world again. I may walk a short distance into the salt water but I’m way more comfortable sitting on the shore and admiring it from afar…
Tell me your ocean stories…
Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. Photos by Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.