I grew up in a small, wood frame house a block from Pensacola Bay at the corner of Cary's Lane and Bayshore Drive in Warrington, Florida. The first time I left home to go live away from the water, I was lost. Fort Jackson, SC isn't very close to a bay or gulf, or ocean. Shortly after basic training, I was transferred to Monterey, CA. The first day I was there I walked down to Monterey bay....loved every second of it. It was on the wrong coast, but it was salt water. Oh yeah. It was raining and I didn't have any winter clothes so I froze all day and a few days later was in the hospital at Fort Ord with pneumonia. Never regretted it.
The smells carried in on the offshore wind
Were a book once read to me.
A story told in a thousand holds
Which border on the sea.
Far behind, but still, marking the will
Of the man I've grown to be.
No stretch of plain, no mountain range,
Can keep me from the sea.
If my soul may return from casket or urn,
Let it sail, let it fly high and free.
I'll be a gull, which screams and sculls,
In the spray above the sea.