A place that once seemed like the biggest in the world, all other locations being far away and scary - became a small, weighted, point on the map. I returned to my coastal hometown, after 2 years, as a tourist. My memories, now at that perfect point of nostalgia, were dusted off with each passing landmark - the local coffee shop that became my first high school job, the quiet pier I was taken to on my first date, the waterfront pub my friends and I would frequent even though we weren't able to drink. My muscles remembered the routes even though it had been years since I'd traveled them.
And I appreciated those beaches like I never had growing up -so quiet with temperate waters and a constant salt steeped in the air. With my childhood home now inhabited by strangers, my family and I convened together in a small beachfront flat. I was able to wake up in the morning, eat a quick bowl of cereal, and walk out to the ocean, laying, writing and reading, until it was time to cool off in the warm waters. I can't think of a better life.