Figure this. I live ten minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. And always have, growing up on Long Island. When I was a kid every summer was about saltwater and seaweed and sand in my sandwiches and in my bathing suit. My late teens were spent on the edges, working in a salt marsh and on a battered Boston Whaler in the middle of the blue Middle Bay, digging holes in marsh mud and counting eggs in tern nests and guessing how many dead red flies were in the fly traps. Every day my ankles had the same ring of salt. It was the dirtiest, sweatiest, most fly-bitten job I could have picked, and the best job I ever had. But now it takes a trip to another beach, three hours away, way across Alligator Alley, along the Gulf of Mexico, to get my feet onto sand. Last time I was here it was forty degrees, wind chill pure Lake Michigan, nothing Florida about it. But this time, barefoot weather, water too cold to swim in but no problem for wading, no problem getting the cuffs of our jeans wet, no issues other than chasing the flip flop that was suctioned off by the surf. I remembered things like horizons and distances and the way the air smells when it’s alive and how the surf eventually times your breathing. Do we have to take ourselves out of ourselves for a few days to get reacquainted with what we loved? Unless we’re the smart few who figured out how to not divide themselves up into too many different selves. I guess that’s the trick.