We have returned, obviously, from our annual excursion to the NJ Shore. This one was postponed so long that naturally the weather was just awful the entire time: cold and just POURING rain. We barely could see the ocean through all that mess, let alone don swimsuits (a blessing in disguise, for me at least, in this post-baby mess!) and venture into the ocean. We had one still-very-grey-and-misty-but-non-rainy day, and we all went for a long stroll on the boardwalk. I have decided that I am really a displaced Water Girl at heart. While I love the forests and mountains, LOVE them, something in the ocean really speaks to me (never mind that I am a terrible swimmer and mostly afraid). Water, the sound and sight, calms and soothes me in ways that are always surprising. I also love everything about beach architecture and culture. There is a sense of relaxation that I urgently want to make my own. I find more and more too that this sense of peace comes more from the Atlantic coast, not the Pacific. That, too, is surprising.