The Serenity of the Ocean

   by Heather Mosier

One of the most enchanting and captivating places on this earth is the ocean. It is a peaceful place to leave reality behind and get lost in an unknown world of beauty. The Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has always been my sanctuary when I needed time to clear my head and get in touch with myself. The ocean’s uncertainty, the childhood memories, and its peaceful serenity help me to reflect on my life. These reflections make the ocean the most memorable place on earth for me.

The uncertainty of the ocean is exciting and sometimes frightening, as is life. The water off the coast can be a beautiful crystal aqua color filled with a rainbow of exotic fish, then, can instantly turn to a murky, cold, and empty blue. The warm cotton-filled skies above the warm waters turn black with thick smoke showers on the horizon. In the distance, the roar of a thousand buffalo seems to be stampeding towards the shore. That is when I know my beautiful day has turned into a storm that forces me indoors. Life has a way of providing many challenges. In my life those challenges come just as hard and as fast as the storms that rush the beach. When the storms of life calm, I appreciate the sun that much more.

I spent every summer as a child at Myrtle Beach with my family. Some of the best memories of childhood come from that majestic place. My sister and I would spend eight-hour days swimming in a warm, clear ocean. My mother would lie on the beach browning her body and smelling of warm coconut cake. My father would spend that time fishing off the peer. He would catch and bring me baby sharks to play with, small enough to fit in my white fish bucket. My parents always took us to some of the most exquisite seafood restaurants. The salty fresh aroma of shrimp and Mahi Mahi sizzling on a hot plate was a mouth-watering thought I carried with me all year. When I am melancholy, I reflect on these times. They will always be burned in my memory as the perfect family vacations.

The most incomparable quality about the immense ocean is its peaceful serenity. Lying in the cool sand on a starry night is the most overwhelming sense of freedom I have ever experienced. The deep low roar of the waves kissing the shoreline is soul-calming. Looking out into the enormous infinite water makes me feel like the smallest grain of sand. My unconfined spirit allows my mind to wander to the most unusual places. What a massive amazing world we live in. These feelings put my life into perspective. It makes me feel triumphant to be right there at that moment. Thank God for the opportunity to be on this breathtaking earth.

The ocean helps me to reflect on my life because of its uncertainty, the childhood memories it brings to mind, and the serenity it puts in my soul. If there is anywhere in the world I can go to relax and feel freedom, Myrtle Beach is the place. I feel as if the ocean is my sanctuary. I hope everyone has a such place to call sanctuary. We all need somewhere we can go to sit alone, thinking to ourselves how fortunate we are for the life we have.

Heather Mosier, at the time of this writing a freshman in Social Work, wrote "The Serenity of the Ocean" for Dr. Marsha Mathews’ ENGL 1101 class during spring 2004 semester.

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