The place I grew up in was farm country. It was inland. There were mountains, flood plains converted to fertile prairie and rivers. It was hardly landlocked – in an hour of driving you could be at the ocean. But still, being seaside was a fairly rare event. A few times a year we would venture into Stanley Park and search for little crabs under the rocks, or spend the day on the beach in White Rock. I had certainly set foot in the ocean, but it was novel.
Now I live within a few kilometers of the sea. We regularly frequent oceanfront parks. I love it. I love it with an intense passion. The smell, the barnacles, the occasional sight of a harbour seal or sea star. The docks and the boats and the expansive vistas make my heart sing. If I could live anywhere, it would be seaside. In my dreams I have a little cottage on a sandy beach, and I sit and watch the waves come in. The sea is in my heart.
Hannah also loves the sea. She loves the salt water and the sea creatures. Jacob is not so sure about the water, but he could spend all day in the sand. My hope is that through lots of early exposure my children will come to love the sea as I do.
What about you? Do you have a favourite landscape, a view that makes your heart sing?