The sea's rumble acts as a set of blinders, drowning out everything but the view before me, centering my focus outward - beyond my chest-deep stance. In one of my first solid recollections of the ocean, I am standing chest-deep in the surf and rumble, holding tightly to the hands of my neighbor (whose family was traveling with us), facing her. I might be in middle school. I am acutely aware that she is anchoring me. That, should she let go, I might drift away. I feel like a grain of sand against wind. So small.
Some things change: the one once tethered to another becomes the anchor. Some things never do. Shoulders submerged at the turn of each wave, peering out into a boundless sea - the only sense of distance an unreliable line of sky - I am a grain of sand swept up in wind. So small. It is the sound - the deep rumble that, like the waves erasing tracks on shore, covers all else. It dares me to just look, to pick out the colors of water and sky. To just smell until the salt fills my nose. To just feel the water cooling me against the licks of the sun as the seaweed slips past my legs. To just daydream about the things I have not seen - the things I do not know. To let go of all other noise and enjoy being this small. In this moment. In this ocean. Drifting in the rumble.