So, apparently, in order to facilitate a measure of inner serenity, I need to be by a large body of water.

In retrospect, this slow-burning epiphany began on my first trip to St. Davids, where I experienced a sense of connectedness with the world.  Later, my wife and I got engaged there, so that particular spot has grown in significance for me.

St. Davids, Wales.

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to travel and see several oceans and seas…

Me in the Pacific, many moons ago.



The North Sea in my new duster…it was a phase.



Sometimes I was lucky enough to travel with someone to the water:

The wife and I at the Mediterranean off the coast of Barcelona.


Stingray City in the Caribbean…that’s my brother getting up close and personal.


All of us at the Atlantic…it’s really calming for my daughter, too!

Recently I was back near the Pacific in San Diego for a conference.  I debated whether or not to take the cab ride over the bay bridge to see the ocean–and I’m glad I did.  It was as calming and soothing as I remembered.  As I stood in the water, I imagined a life where I could greet the sunrise (or shortly thereafter) every morning for just a few minutes, putting me in the right mind for the rest of the day.  And perhaps a stroll with the family at sunset, letting go of the day’s worries.

Though I never grew up near the water, once I saw the Atlantic there has been a calling ever since, and I heed that Siren’s song whenever I can.  I think the vastness of the ocean puts life into perspective and the rhythmic waves erode my frustrations.  I can feel my chest untighten, and my trivial concerns wash away with the tide.

This last time, when I came home (sadly my family wasn’t able to come with me), my wife noticed my more peaceful demeanor.  I think her exact words were: “I know you got this Zen thing going on, but…”  And for a few days, the little things that got under my skin seemed to matter less and I had more patience with those around me (quite a feat for me).

But then I had to drive again, and it turns out my inner peace may just have to do with the fact that I didn’t have to deal with JAs on the road for 6 days.

Still, I like to think the water has something to do with it, and from time to time I’ll turn on my video of the lapping waves, try to recall the feel of the ocean breeze and the smell of the salty air, and just relax.

Hey, I’ll take a pool if that’s all I can get!