The Pacific is so big and so cold (where I live) that it sometimes feels untouchable. The ocean air is refreshing but the actual water is unwelcoming.
Even though I rarely go in the water, I still feel like these beaches-- this ocean-- is important to me. Almost like a constant presence in Pacifica, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, even the Philippines.
I remember sitting in the passenger seat of my sister's car as she explained how the stoplights along The Great Highway work: as long as you maintain a speed of about 35mph, you'll hit all green lights. Any faster and you'll have to stop-and-go because you keep hitting reds.
I remember playing in the tide pools in the Philippines with my brother. How we found two starfish and pretended they were his bra like a mermaid.
I remember driving to the beach-- in Pacifica, along the Great Highway, anywhere I could see it-- because it helped calm my heart. It gave me somewhere to go and sit and heal.
It's funny how something so big can feel like home.