Some days I go to escape the stress and anxiety of a school day, or when coach got really sick, I went to weep, hope, and prey. Today it is my destination, as my quadriceps burn, and calves ache. As my bike veers off the paved ocean side road, and dips down the sandy narrow path, relief pours over me. Castle Rock- towering high above in natural strength, and pure beauty- I am in awe. Tossing the handlebars down, I leap toward the rock face. I glance up, scout my path, and begin to climb. It is not a long climb- just challenging enough to give one a sense of accomplishment at the peak. I hoist my tired body up onto the flat summit. Standing, I look out- my breath leaves my body for that instant, (unconsciously this happens every visit.) The feeling of being able to see out in front of you forever- nothing in your way- is frightening, and at the same time, gives encouragement, hope, and security. .
The massive ocean dances before me, each individual wave in sink with each other. The incomparable sound of the sculpting of the shoreline and the rock I stand atop fills my ears. I tiptoe forward, slowly, cautiously, to the edge where I sit with a sigh, and rest. This rock, a bulging mass that stands on its own off the shore of Marblehead Neck, has forever been my secret getaway. As a young girl, my grandmother would walk with me to the bench that is positioned just below the rock. We would eat lunch of cheese sandwiches and then she would tell me to go see how the ocean was feeling that day. Under her watchful eye, I felt safe and independent. I would scale the rock with my tender bare feet, and once at the top, look out and study the waves. Usually they were angry, moving swiftly, crashing into each other and spilling over. Once in a while, though, the waves would caress each other, and reminded me of smooth creamy frosting. But one thing that always stood out in my mind was how clean and pure the water always appeared, so I never thought of it any other way.