I live on the Pacific Northwest coastline. The salty air awakens my senses and my lungs open wide and I am home. The rhythmic beating of waves, the screeching of seagulls, the unbridled joy of dogs and children dashing in and out of roaring water, the morning fog and afternoon sun - it is a part of who I am. The sand in the Red Vines, sand in the diapers, sand in the hair, sand coating the inside of the car, sand everywhere brings me back to being five years old and rolling down sand dunes and darting in and out of the tide. It reminds me of waiting impatiently while Daddy untangled and connected line to kite and fearfully holding the line while the wind whipped and tried to tear it from my little fingers. It reminds me of being a teenager and playing with little brothers in the sand, and strolling through shops meant for tourists like me.
All those memories are tied up together with a longing to share the ocean with my own children. So I spread towels on the dry sand and watch them splash in the waves like their mommy did. We gasp excitedly as that cormorant dives yet again, this time coming up with a fish that it swallows whole, its neck bulging. We watch the flock of 15 or more pelicans crossing the sky all afternoon, and make sand sculptures, and run squealing from the waves. I drag water-crazy Millie back once more from the place where the waves will be just a little too strong and deposit her on a towel for another red licorice stick. We go for a drive and get cocoa after the weather turns cold and look out our window at the forest, the beach houses, the bays. We are on our way to making our own beach memories together now.