Ask anyone who’s seen the wild ocean and they’ll tell you: the water you see in Boston and New York is not that. The ocean is blue, grey, foaming white, green, black, even purple sometimes, but never brown. I was never more than a few minutes away from the waves at home. I spent all summer in them.

It’s a strangely spiritual experience, bobbing in the waves. You can feel the power, the energy wash over you, through you, and there’s nothing you can do if it decides it wants to take you. I have never felt more alive than when I am in the ocean. At home, if I wanted to get away, I used to find the place on the shore where the waves crashed the loudest, find myself a comfortable place to sit, and lose myself in the endless patterns of foam and different shades of blue. I scared the hell out of the supervisors on our DofE trip because I had had enough of airheaded people talking nonstop about body lotion and wandered off to do this. I ended up sitting there for hours and to my surprise people had realized I had gone.

That, I think is the thing I miss most about home. I’m at university in Boston, and I walk down to the Charles River sometimes, but it’s not nearly the same. The water is dead; there’s barely a current and it’s this nasty muddy greenish colour. Sure, the walk by the river is pretty, and now that it’s getting sunnier I’m definitely going to be spending more time down there, but the water makes me kind of sad sometimes, because of how much crap this city has dumped in it. At one point it was blue and roaring and foaming and alive, and the city killed it.

Conclusion: I should not live anywhere permanently that doesn’t have any bodies of water that are alive.