The constant gargle, whether crashing or calm, gloriously filling your ears against small or faraway sounds. At the ocean, it is just you and it.
The broken sunlight forever chasing its changing surface, cloistering its depths from we outsiders.
The bobbing lightness of standing shoulder-deep just beyond the break, rising on tiptoe in each swell, until a slight crest appears higher than your head and invites you to sink your face into its face.
The soothing sting of seawater on the dozens of bug bites dotting your arms and legs. The slight crust of salt infusing your hair with the texture and wave it sadly lacks.
The jolt of a memory of fear, unnamed and unknown, unfamiliar and familiar, turning you to shore slowly, you think slowly and elegantly but probably quickly and obviously.
The sound of your youngest behind you, wise beyond years and yet unbelievably just coming of age, in a clumsy crashing tripping dance of heavy legs and paddling arms.
“Barracuda … as big as me.”