Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for information and links to more Slicing!
I love the ocean. I love all bodies of water, but to me the ocean is the absolute. I must admit that when I’m enjoying a lake or a dam or even a bay, I’m also thinking that it is beautiful and peaceful and calm because it is almost like an ocean. I look at the ripples as the water meets the sand or dirt, and I compare them to ocean waves. I strain my ears to hear the sounds of the water, hopeful to feel the same sense of peace that I get from the sounds of the sea crashing wave after wave.
On our beach vacation last week, I took a short bike ride (all by myself! amazing!) and came to a trail head near the marsh. The marsh has always been a beautiful piece of scenery at the beach. But the main attraction is the ocean. As I rode down the one lane gravel path, I watched the grasses sway and wave in the wind. I thought about how this place wasn’t beautiful because it was almost an ocean. It was an ocean.
An ocean of bright green vegetation, and birds and soft wind. This idea of “almost an ocean” played over and over in my mind as I rode. I started to list in my mind all of the things that I am almost (almost a runner, almost reading a book a day, almost vegan, almost did enough school work this summer, almost finished cleaning the house before I left, almost relaxing on my vacation). I guess I am a marsh – almost an ocean. I saw that ahead of me was some water, and when I got to it, I laughed.
A beach. It was peaceful, quiet aside from bird calls and breeze. I didn’t find myself thinking about how it was almost an ocean. I didn’t try to hear the waves, or put my feet in the sand. I just stood there and breathed in the beauty.
I wondered about my almosts. I turned them around in my mind like the marsh beach. Not almosts anymore, but things I know I am. I know I run, I’m reading a ton, I eat a plant based diet, I have worked on schoolwork this summer, my house is fine. I’m relaxing. Right now!
No doubt, my deep thoughts on my bike ride were thanks to having just finished Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. Have you read this book? You should. You will fall in love with Albie, and maybe start thinking about your “almosts.” You might find that you can use the life reminder from Lisa Graff’s Albie, “You couldn’t get where you were going without knowing where you’d been. And you couldn’t be anywhere at all without having been almost there for a while.”