Monday, November 16, 2009

Memory Monday - Nor Any Drop to Drink

The first time I saw the ocean I was seventeen years old and in Yokohama, Japan. Even though my flight to Japan flew out of San Francisco, there was cloud cover the whole trip and I didn't catch even one glimpse of blue water. My host family could barely comprehend a land-locked life so once they learned of my ocean ignorance, they immediately made plans to take me to the beach.

We settled into a spot on Yokohama bay and as soon as we changed into our swimsuits my host sister and I ran giggling into the waves. The water didn't even come up to my waist before ocean spray hit my face and I remember the shocking taste. Without thinking I shouted, "It's SALTY!" which sent my host family into fits of laughter. I can still see and feel the whole scene in my mind: the crowded beach; my host sister's long, dark hair swinging across the back of her black one piece suit; the dirty, grey, gritty feel of sand; the hazy sky; the urban presence of the city pressing in on the beach. But the strongest memory of that day is the surprising, salty, bright taste of the seawater on my lips.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Wonderful glimpse of your experience, Sunni! I can't believe that you didn't see the ocean until you were 17 -- but I can, knowing where you grew up. What a gift for them that they got to show you the ocean. Thanks for sharing this. It's really touching in many ways.