Long, hot Australian summers are best spent at the beach or with a cider in hand. As the past few months have shown for me, salt water fixes everything - whether it be tears, sweat or the sea. I've had a tough time with uni this semester, feeling completely overwhelmed by my workload and experiencing anxiety over my exams. I have had assessments almost every week this semester and have more than once been brought to tears just entering the classroom. It's been very difficult.
My health has been worse for wear as well, and I've had a few relationship troubles peppered through the past couple of months - all those little obstacles life throws in your way to have you wishing for the fresh start brought by a new year.
If one thing has pulled me through these difficulties, it's my proximity to the beach.
The ocean has been a constant source of calm and comfort over the past few months, and I've found myself heading for the seaside, alone, quite often and not just due to the heat. The ocean offers me a calm like no other. It cleanses my soul and purges me of the negative thoughts and energy I'm carrying day-to-day. I'm not a very spiritual person, but I've never felt more close to the gods than when I'm in the sea.
The power the ocean has over me is awe-inspiring and goes back as far as I can remember. Running away from home as a kid always had me pelting towards the south wall, where I would perch atop a rock and let the spray of the ocean and ebb and flow of the tide wash my angers and upsets away. I would return home a different kid, the sparkle of the sun reflected off the ocean in my eye, and my heart full again just from watching the waves crash on the rocks as I curl my toes in the sand.
I posted the above picture to instagram the other day with the caption "I have sea foam in my veins, I understand the language of waves". The quote comes from the French film Le Testament d'Orphee - a film I have never seen, whose poetic lines have captured my imagination and spirit like no other. I find myself repeating it to myself like a mantra to get through hot and difficult days. The effect is soothing - I can sit back, chanting to myself and imagine the ocean wash over me, bringing with it a sense of calm that fights away my troubles and anxieties. I temporarily soothe my soul with these words as I eagerly await my next opportunity to head towards the ocean and replenish my calm and quietude in the foamy chaos of the sea.