I decided to escape from York for a bit and just go on a drive.
Rather than turn around the further I got, I continued on until I reached Scarborough. I always felt better near the sea.
There is something very therapeutic about the sea – it’s motion, the smell, how it sound. It always continues to move, never ceases, never tires. It’s not the sand or sea that I know, but it’s a salty reminder of a place I’d retreat to nearer home.
As soon as I see the sea over the horizon I feel lighter. I’m brimming with excitement. I don’t expect it to wash away how I feel, but to numb the sting of a painful feeling that I’d forgotten.
My car window is down so I can hear the sea crashing and the chorus of seagulls above to soak up a memory of this moment so I can return to it at bleaker points in times.
I had no plan once I got there, I drove along the entire sea front until I reached open road again. I turned around and headed back from where I came to find a space to park up.
I parked opposite the beach and headed straight for the sea. My Converse sank in the sand before it evened out on a solid patch of sand that was previously the sea bed. It’s strange how the sea’s drag removes all the remnants of it’s indents from the sand. The odd bit of seaweed lays isolated out of the water, but the majority of the sand is smooth. It has mingled with the water and now is not the same as it was before, but it is something new entirely.
As I reach this point I notice there is only three other people on this beach – a couple with a toddler playing in the sea. I must look odd to them, out of place almost. This single entity staring at the ocean in a summers dress, converse and a parker.
It bothers me for a second. Then it passes.
I came here on a whim, I think. In an endeavour to feel like myself, to escape and feel at home in a place that isn’t yet home.
I walk. I sit. I observe. I can’t help but check over my shoulder. I must look odd being here alone, I feel almost vulnerable. I feel vulnerable as I’ve started to feel happy and more whole again. This always happens.
I am amazed that the sun still has not set. This whim began at 7, I arrived at 7:40 but yet the sun is still setting across the water. There is something reassuring in a long evening as, well, light has prevailed. It lingers and the sky is now made up of blocks of strong colours.
I begin to think of her, my dear friend, 300 miles away in a hospital bed. A smile would beam across her face if she knew I had done this tonight. I had done something adventurous simply because I could, simply because I can and right now she can’t.
I feel that being grateful is underrated, or perhaps just easily forgotten. Our perspective of the world is quick to filter out another humans perspective, the opposite of our own, the worse one. I’m not sure why that is, or why it happens, but it happens again and again, so we are left feeling ungrateful.
Standing opposite the sea I am too present to not feel grateful.
I long to be in the lighthouse. I’ve only been in one once, but the window reminds me of my bay window at home. I have dreamt many times of being in a lighthouse, drawing, painting, reading, writing with the only audience of the sea. It probably seems a bizarre thing to dream, but I have loved the sea for as long as I can remember.
I realise I am now the only person on the beach. I head back up to the pavement to walk along the front, past the amusements, chains, cafes until I find it, a fish and chip shop.
I’m accosted by the sound of the accent; how far away from home I am. My voice sounds uncertain and distant as I order, it reminds me of the numerous times I’d had to order food in France and spoken in a bizarre hybrid French-English accent. I stick out like a sore thumb.
I sound different, so order curry sauce to compensate. Now I must blend in right? Regardless of whether I do or not, I find a bench and sit opposite the beach devouring the only food you should really eat at the seaside.
I feel calm, despite the windswept hair situation and the giant seagull colony that I appear to have attracted. I am far from the tense, crying, anxious person I was at the beginning of the drive. It’s bliss.
Someone once told me that to love your life you have to live by your values. I could not agree more. That is not to say my values are abandoning everything to escape to the seaside at every moment, and eating calorific stereotypical location based foods. Otherwise I would look like a Yorkshire pudding by now.
There isn’t any final point to this, other than this adventure and little escape helped healed a little hole I’ve been patching up for a while.
After my escape to the sea, I am free from my brain noise and I feel exactly that, free.