Today I am grateful that I live only a hop, skip and a jump from the ocean. I grew up here and always took the sea for granted. Whenever I needed a break from the hustle of life, I would sit and watch the waves lapping softly upon the shore. I didn’t realize how much I needed this calming presence until I moved to West Virginia for grad school and had ocean withdrawals. On bad days I would watch video clips of the beach or stare at a photograph of Avila Beach… but it wasn’t the same. I need the feel of those negative ions and the cool chill of the morning mist on my skin. Marissa means “of the sea” and I definitely live up to my name. The sea is my home and I am glad to once again be living in a place where I can enjoy it whenever I want to.