When I think about how my life used to be when I was a child, the first thing that comes to mind is that sacred place in which I spent most of my earliest days alive: the sea. The thrilling and yet peace-inducing waves that would carry my body from side to side seem to be one of the sea’s features that I reminisce whenever I’m near said place.
Looking through 14-year-old photo books (that somehow endured the dangerous journey from house to house in Cuba, all the way to Florida now), I can see all the pictures of myself, at only a few months old, laughing with my family as we basked in the wonderful, perfect heat of the summer and the refreshing hits we got from the rather calm waters.
Then I see other pictures of myself, at four years old, with a little flowery, colorful dress and the red heart-shaped glasses that I used to love wearing. In these pictures I can clearly see the love for the sea radiating off me, and I can’t help but wonder what made me start hating it a few years back.
I guess it started when I came to this country, and I realized that I would probably not be able to see my beloved Cuban sea in Varadero for a long time; that I would not be able to join my family in the waters to recreate that beautiful memory from years ago; that I would have to settle for the American people’s seas and possibly even forget my own.
It was all too painful, so I chose to start hating the sea.
It wasn’t until about two months back, when my mother had some troubles going on and decided to share them with me, that I went with her to see the sea after a long time of restraining myself of enjoying it.
We just stood there next to the border that kept us from join the side of the sea in front of us and indulged ourselves in the tranquil sound of the waves softly hitting the wall in front of us and the birds chirping.
It was at that moment that my forgotten love started to resuscitate.
After this, I found myself longing to submerge my body in the sea’s waters and finally enjoy it after all the waiting. This led me to choose to take some of my quinces pictures on a boat at sea.
I took them about a week ago, and I still can’t seem to forget the astounding experience.
The water felt like velvet against my fingers as I posed for pictures, while at the same moment I felt the peace in my soul grow and all the worries in me float away with the waves.
It felt like I was finally where I was supposed to be. It felt like I was becoming one with the sea, and at the same time transcending into the woman that I had been raised all these years to become. It all felt just right.