Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Home is Where the Heart Is

I love my home -- Marblehead.

I'm not a college graduate who is racing to move out and never look back. I'm gradually coming into my own and figuring out when is the right time to leave my roots behind.

In the midst of thinking about when that time is, I have written about what it is keeping me there.

I've narrowed it down to three places and here's why:

The Atlantic
The waves hit against the shore. The white foam on the rocks tickle my toes as I slip right in. Goosebumps pop out of my pores and my fingers begin to purple.

I don’t care. It's going to be my last visit for a while....

It's going to be a while before I get to dip into the Atlantic with the boats surrounding me and baby sharks waiting for my entrance. I let go of the tree bark and my heart dives into the water.

The light from the lighthouse guides me to the rocks.

The Neck

She was driving a little too slow. But I preferred that than drive fast and catch the attention of Marblehead’s bored cops waiting to bust a teen for going 1mph over the speed limit.

It was such a beautiful summer day; the boats, floating in the blue, put me in a trance. My eyes couldn’t escape the rhythm each boat floated to—they were dancing.

“Can you believe we live here?” Rachel took the words right out of my mouth.
“I know. It’s beautiful. Perfect day for sailing.”
“I wish we had a boat. Next summer we should convince dad to buy one.”

I ignored her comment and began listening to the waves kiss the rocks every three seconds. It was beckoning me to enter the ocean’s layer.

The light house came into view through the car window.

Community Road
Up the hill to the left and around the circle led me to the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore: my escape.

Gymnastics in the gymnasium brought out the artist in me, even at five. Everyone watched as I flipped in the air or cart wheeled my way to glory. In a room filed with forty other gymnasts, three coaches and hundreds of fans, I was the only one being watched.

The pool engulfed my body and molded my mind, body and soul for ten years. I learned to respect my competitors, listen to my coaches, and put a show on for the fans.

No questions asked: work hard in the water... no excuses.

For ten years --
six lanes became my home
bathing cap my skull
swim suit my skin
and goggles my eyes.

The work out room was for extreme measures: Fights with a boyfriend, poor grades or built-up frustration.

My legs dented the treadmill with every stomp. My knuckles cracked with every blow to the punching bag. No weight was heavy enough for the adrenaline circulating through my veins. I put on my headphones and blocked out the world. For an hour and a half, no one mattered but me.

The sight of the light house through the window pushed me to look forward to a brighter day......

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