love like an ocean

I began my summer heartsick and tired.

I ended my summer heartsick and tired.

In between, I spent long hours watching a lake.

I watched the lake on stunning blue-sky days when each ripple would dance with sparkly sunlight. I watched the lake on grey, stormy days when fat raindrops would puncture hole after hole in its usually serene surface. I watched the lake in the morning when low fog would wrap it in a blanket. I watched the lake at night when the moon would pour upon it a pearly path. I went to bed by this lake, I woke up by this lake, I prayed that I would see things clearly by this lake, and I swam in this lake, sometimes all the way across to the other side, naked, I felt freedom, I felt joy but, at night I dreamt of the ocean, I kept seeing blue, space, sand, and a certain low rumbling sound calling me, come, and I did, and when I got there I sat by its shore for a long time, I listened to the waves, I listened to the wind, to the calls of terns, gulls

and then I slept.

*

When I awoke, I walked then ran down the hot sand until it no longer slipped but became firm, wet beneath my feet, I splashed through frothy, white waves as they licked higher and higher around my ankles up to my knees, thighs, and then I dove into the cool, rolling water, I couldn’t really swim, but I could let the waves rock me, become me, I was a baby inside my mother, my mother was a baby inside of me, and I felt freedom, and I felt joy, but I also felt wild and something alive unlock these worlds from inside of me.

*

And I realized that the love swimming within me could not be contained by a lake.

***