Go down, down south. Way, way down south. And instead of going to some tourist hot spot in Florida, go to a little beach town in Alabama named Gulf Shores. Drive through the little town with washed away storefronts and small seafood shacks and a souvenir store where the front entrance is a shark’s mouth. Drive past all of the resorts with chandeliers in the windows. They reside across the street from the humble condos. Both residents are not strangers to walking barefoot and finding sand in their hair. Drive to where the beach houses all have names like “Sand Dollar II” or “Our Lil’ Slice Of Heaven.” Where they could be purple or green or yellow. Park in front of one these houses and walk to the beach. Make sure it’s the beach that is gulf side and not the lagoon, although the lagoon is very beautiful. But that’s not what you came here for.
You came here for the waves. You have to cross the beach first, avoiding stepping on any jagged broken shells. The sand, soft and so white it’s blinding, stretches far. Maybe you’ve brought something to help the aesthetic match your actions – a book, a towel, possibly an iPod and headphones or speakers. Looking out into the ocean, you start treading water, wiggling your toes as the foam glides over your feet.
There is where you’ll find peace. But first, you must reconcile with yourself. Sometimes you can just do it on your own, walking around listening to the waves and watching them rise and fall in front of you. Sometimes, though, a situation is too good to not have its own soundtrack.
For me, Turn Blue was that soundtrack. I sat in the sand and watched the waves. Songs like Weight of Love, Waiting on Words and In Our Prime moved through me, feeling like it went along with the rhythm of the water. Memories and contemplations of love, change, and mistakes. The idea of my identity becoming as fluid as the current. My consistency is as consistent as the changing tide.
But it’s so easy to get caught up in existentialism and that weight of caring. Of all of it mattering too much. It’s best, every now and then, to let go of those thoughts and to just let everything flow. It’s not hard. Or, at least, not as hard as you think. Being there on that beach helps. The sun feels nice. The sand is soft. And the water is cool.
Maybe you’re at the beach with some special people. Maybe you’re alone in that specific moment on the sand, but you know that can go back to a smile and a good evening. But, just as I needed to, you need to sit for a little. Give your mind your break. All you have to do is watch and listen.
When you do just that, then you can turn and walk away. You’ll have the waves with you.