In 2006 prior to my move to Kenya I wrote in my journal, “Live by the ocean.” I wrote it during a trip my aunt and I took to Portland, Maine that summer. The summer of 2006 was certainly turbulent. I was unsettled, living at my parent’s cottage in PEI, in the midst of my separation, and waiting for my move to Kenya (to be more specific waiting for my work permit to arrive so I could actually move to Kenya.) When my aunt and I visited Portland, Maine I knew one thing for certain. I wrote, when I move back from Kenya, I want to live by the ocean. At that point in my life I thought it *might* actually be Portland, Maine.
I feel incredibly calm when I am around water. Growing up my sister and I were complete water babies. My parents owned a home in suburban Virginia that had a neighborhood pool and every summer morning my sister and I would ride our bikes to the pool and stay there until dinner time. We met all of our friends at the pool, played marco polo, swam on the swim team, learned to dive, jumped from the high dive, and had crushes on all the teenage boy lifeguards.
When we would travel the first thing we would do is jump up and down and yell “WHERE IS MY BATHING SUIT? IS THERE A POOL AT THE HOTEL?”
I can remember a conversation my parents had with us when I was in the sixth grade. They stated that we would be moving at the end of the school year and my Dad’s job with the government would either take us to Pakistan or to Indonesia. As a sixth grader, neither impressed me. I started asking a few questions mostly out of sheer shock that my parents would EVEN THINK of moving me before I entered middle school, and especially before Adena’s Bat Mitzvah. My angst stopped when my Dad said, “Well if we move to Indonesia the house has a pool.” Hmmm. Maaaybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. A few weeks later we learned we were actually moving to Islamabad, Pakistan (there was NOT a pool in the backyard there.)
Pool or no pool, water has always played a pivotal role in my life. Each summer we travel to PEI where our family has a summer cottage by the ocean and although I don’t go swimming as much as I used to I love the sound of the waves, the breeze of the water, and yes I love long walks along the beach. When I enter a new relationship the non-negotiable is always that the person will go to PEI for at least one week in the summer, thankfully Jeff is fully on board. When my sister or I enter a new relationship we often ask each other the age-old question, “Sounds like you like him a lot. Is he PEI material?” Meaning, can he handle cottage life. The stillness, the love of the water, the calmness of the cottage, and the contentment of doing nothing and everything at the same time. As my friend Dana says, you are an Island girl at heart Amanda.
Today as I was walking along the Vancouver seawall, smelling the sea while rain pelted my face, I remembered that day when I wrote in my journal live by the ocean. I may not have ended of in Portland, Maine, but I realized that moment, “WOW I really am living by the ocean!”, and now with two days left in Vancouver I am moving even closer to the ocean (Vancouver Island). In 2006 I wrote down a(n) dream/wish/idea of where I wanted to live and I let it be, I wasn’t particularly intentional about moving by the ocean, I just let things happen naturally. I guess there really is something to be said about divine timing and putting your dreams out there.