Going Coastal

I always wanted to be a mermaid.

When I was little, I used to dream of living out my days underwater.  I imagined spending my life in the weightless, soundless calm that is the ocean.  I wished I could go to sleep in an underwater cave and wake up to the sun’s rays shining through the water’s surface.  I loved to swim.

Of course, I never got to fulfill that innocent childhood dream.  But the sea still calls me.  So nowadays, I count myself lucky to live in a place where the beach is never very far away.

In our land, beaches are an important part of the terrain.  The Israeli coastline is also where the country’s biggest cities are located.  There may not be any mermaids in Israel, but there are a lot of ocean lovers.  From Tel Aviv to Haifa, the beaches are where locals gather – for fun, exercise, and entertainment.

During winter, the coast quiets down.  Many of Israel’s beautiful beaches are left to the die-hard beach bums: snorkelers and spear fisherman, surfers and sailors.  And of course, there are the hikers.  Once the cool weather comes around, coastal trails are a great place for a long walk in nature.

When we walk along the coast, it’s hard to know where to look.  Up above, the sky becomes a dramatic backdrop: for storm clouds, puffy cotton candy clouds, or just sea gulls and pigeons.  Birds swoop down from above, catching the ocean breeze while they transition into a gentle glide.  I could watch them for hours.

Sometimes, the sea itself is the focal point.  In many places, tables of rock create multicolored layers on the ocean floor.  They look purple and aquamarine from our perspective up above.  When the sun shines, the shallow parts of the ocean reflect its rays, creating pools of light on the shore.  When the sun sets, well…that’s an incredible spectacle all by itself.

If we make it down to the water, a new world of experience becomes ours.  Armed with a snorkel mask, we can  see schools of colorful fish, sting rays, and sea turtles alive and well just beneath the surface.

Becoming a mermaid may no longer be a dream.  But spending more time at the ocean is still within the realm of possibility.  There are coastal cliffs to climb and an underwater world of life to explore. In our land, we are never very far away from the magnificent, peaceful calm that is the sea.

Layers.

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