My earliest memories are of the pull of the sea. I was born in a sea-side city, but moved inland when I was still a baby. And yet, every family holiday since I was a child involved stealing away from our sun-scorched land-bound town to the sea. When I was old enough, I’d take the 5am train to Newcastle on the weekends just so I could stand on the sand and feel my soul move within me.
In my late teens my family moved to Newcastle, a small coastal city. It was there that I met the boy who would become my husband. He wooed me on hot summer nights on darkened beaches. We watched the lightning crackle over the ocean and talked about our lives, two forks that had finally met, two paths that were slowly merging in a town by the sea.
And now, I get to write about it, those complex emotions that are stirred up by salty air, the ebb and flow of the waves, and the slow movement of creatures in the deep. I get to write about all that, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Yesterday, I went to sea with three of my closest friends.
We saw the creatures of the deep: whales and dolphins, seals and seabirds. We saw storm and sunshine, rainbows and sunsets, still waters and deep-ocean swells.
I felt my soul move within me.
Today, I’m starting to plan my revision of the Sea Story. I can’t help but feel it’s the most vital, precious thing I’ve ever written, because it connects so deeply to the things that make me me. It’s about faith and becoming and stories passed down through generations. It’s about looking at the surface of the world and wondering if there’s something more, something deeper. It’s about death and war and choosing the person you’re going to be. It’s about having salt in the blood.
But really, it’s about the sea.