Image Source: Joel Meyerowitz
I dream at night, before sleep. In the dark, in bed next to the window, with the cruel, frigid winter night seeping in, I dream that the sound of the snow-blower is really the sound of a lawnmower, and that the sound of the whipping wind is really the sound of the surf. The cold tapping on the thin window is really a gentle afternoon sea breeze, wafting over the dunes to cool skin exposed to too much summer sun. I dream, and the endless winter becomes easier to bear.
I dream of the cabin, tucked just inside the dunes, not offering ocean views. I can’t see the surf from my bedroom, but I hear it, a mere two-minute walk away. And I hear the surf in the winter wind howling two inches outside my bed. The waves are just out of reach, but they are there. I dream of summers in the cabin, on the beach, laying in the sun, rolling in the cool water, the breakers crashing over our bodies as we lie naked before the world, before the summer. I dream of lying in bed at the cabin, the waves crashing, the windows open to a gentle warm breeze.
I dream of hair wet and matted with ocean water, and skin sticky with ice cream and slick with lotion. I smell salt and sweat and campfires and taste salt-water taffy and freedom, from school, from obligation, from our normal system of structure and routine. I taste and smell and feel the freedom of an entire summer next to the pounding waves.
And all winter the dreams of summer are just out of reach. But I dream, and the winter fades and the summer calls and the dreams of freedom see me to sleep and place me another day closer…