Thursday, May 28, 2009


I woke up this morning to grey skies, 55 degrees and a seagull screaming in indignation.
I woke because my first thought was that the seabird was one of my offspring, bellowing from the warm confines of their bed for me (which happens more oft than it ought).

We have seagulls here, on the very outskirts of Chicagoland. Is there any place they don't reside anymore? I remember their cries used to tell me I was near the shore--I could hear them calling 10 minutes before I would smell the delicious salty sea air, 20 minutes before I would run across hot sand to the cool Atlantic waters or warm Gulf currents.

Now we live an hours drive from the Indiana Dunes State Park. It's a close facsimile of the beaches of my youth, but the little clues are missing. Salty sea air? Nope. Trails left by sand crabs while we slept? Nope. The sand is sandy, some days there are waves that break upon the beach. The smell of sunscreen and the sound of shrieking children are all there. But there is a part of me that still yearns for the ocean. To come home and have your skin salt-covered, to smell the sea in your hair.

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