If I lived in a house by the sea: Slice of Life #16

If I lived in a house by the sea #sol16

Every year my family comes to stay in a house on the ocean. Sometimes in the spring. Sometimes in the summer. When we are lucky, it is more than once. It’s strange that it feels like such an other place because I could easily visit the ocean every day – we live a 15 minute drive away from a beach. But in these ocean houses, it is different. It is as if everything is about the water. Like the rhythmic pull of the tide, I am slowly pulled from my other, every day life.

I watch the ocean all day. Wake up to it throughout the night. The stars are brighter. The skies are more dramatic. The world is lonelier.The constant movement is soothing and terrifying all at once. I watch the surface looking for sightings of all things I wish desperately to see: whales, dolphins, beautiful birds of the sea.

I walk along the shore and think about what life would be like if I lived here. If I knew this shore. Each rock, each possible sunrise, the patterns of the tides.

I think about small moments of a different life. A life that might be mine if I lived in a house by the sea.

I would have a large dog and every day we would walk away from the water and into the forest, breathing deep the moist, earthy air, noticing anything that broke through the quiet: bird song, footfalls, wind whistles.

Morning coffee would be sipped early in the morning on a rock overlooking the ocean. A warm jacket would wait on the same hook for me each day. I would step into boots in the winter, sandals in the summer, worn so often they could walk themselves down our path.

Storms would find me in my favourite chair by the window spellbound by the ferocity of the wind, the angry dark tones of the sky and the pounding of water from both clouds and sea.

I would add carefully to my collections. Jars and jars of sea glass.  Bowls of smooth stones. Shells, bones and wood that caught my eye.

Every whale I saw would delight and sadden me. Oh, that I was at the right spot and looked up just when. But what if it never happened again? My luck would feel so precious that my eyes would fill with tears each and every time.

I would think differently about blue and grey and white. Rocks would tell me stories. The sun’s rise and fall at the horizon would never fail to hold my attention.

If I lived in a house by the sea.

Bad Irony: Slice of Life

I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.


28 thoughts on “If I lived in a house by the sea: Slice of Life #16

  1. Carrie, it is a wish of my husband to live in a house by the shore. When we first married, we lived in my husband’s apartment that faced the ocean. Now we live fifteen minutes away and find our way back to the rhythm of the sea. I understand why the shore is calling to you.

  2. So lovely. The book I’m listening to right now, Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins, mentions a few times different people’s idea of utopia. I’ve been thinking of writing a slice about my utopia, or maybe just an alternate timeline, where I might be if I’d made different decisions along the way.

  3. This is a dream of mine too. It’s something I imagine as I drift to sleep. Strangely, I live in a house by the sea. That meditative world isn’t about where we are physically. It’s something more. Beautiful post, Carrie. Thank you for reminding me of my dream life.

  4. What a beautiful slice. You’ve captured the otherness of life by the sea with your words. I love the repetition of “If I lived in a house by the sea…” and the idea that “I would think differently about blue and grey and white. Rocks would tell me stories.” I was skimming through your story as the morning picks up pace and I had to go back and read it slowly and savor it. Thank you.

  5. Man, that’s a good one Carrie. I have lived in a house by the sea and miss it every day. We walked the beach and picked up smooth rocks and sea glass. It was other worldly. Sadly it was just a one year rental and since the house was on the market for one million dollars, it was never going to be ours. But love it we did. Your words are so carefully chosen and beautiful.

  6. I find the ocean calling, maybe someday I’ll be there all the time? We go each year too to a house by the sea. It is indeed wondrous. You’ve imagined all my dreams too, Carrie. Thank you. (Do you know Henry Beston’s The Outermost House? If not, take a look.)

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