For as long as I can remember, my family has been going to North Carolina in the summers to visit cousins and stay by the sea. The blazing light, hot, burning sand beneath your heels, and grassy, rolling dunes are all things that I love. When you get in the rough water, it’s a rush of salt up your nose, and an exhilerating struggle to stay atop the waves.
The mountains have their own mystique. You feel tiny in their vastness, and they make you appreciate forces beyond human control. They can also be shockingly beautiful. I loved the view from our home in Kathmandu. Sometimes when I was hanging around the house, I couldn’t help but step out onto our roof every few minutes to look at the hills and search for the snow-spotted Himalayas hiding in the clouds.
But the sea connects you to the rest of the world. You look across and wonder how many people are looking across the same ocean, right back at you. It makes you feel like you’re part of a global community.
I love the mountains; I love looking at them and hiking them, but it’s not the mountains I miss; it’s the ocean. Living in a landlocked country made me miss it even more.
The sun is really strong in Nepal. You can set out vegetables on your roof and turn them into achaar. People also dry meat in the sun to make sukuti. In the Northeastern US, it’s much harder to get enough sun to do that. Anyway, the sun would get so bright sometimes and occasionally the wind would really pick, so I’d sit on the roof with closed eyes and imagine I was at the beach.
Finally, after almost a year, I got to see the coast again. Last night my older brother, his friend, Tri and I went to have dessert in Salem, Massachusetts. It’s a bit of a creepy place, filled with witch shops and haunted houses in honor of the witch trials held there in the 17th century.
As we were walking down towards the harbor, I got a whiff of the Atlantic and finally, a view of the water.
It’s good to be back.