A couple things got me thinking about this today. When I watched the Tsunami on the telly I couldn't help but be awed by the strength of the waves, the power. Such devastation they wrought! The wave washed away houses as though they were nothing more than cardboard constructions on the land.
The second thing that got me thinking about water was when I was watching An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. There was just a flash of the sea, the sound of seagulls and the splash of waves upon the beach. In that instant my heart ached. Sad, but true. I miss England. It's about that time I get homesick all over again.
I'm deterring from the subject. I'm talking about water and tides and the sea. I grew up near the sea. I'm a good swimmer. I enjoy swimming - I loved it as a child. But I have a love/hate relationship with the sea.
On the one hand there is nothing I enjoy better than lying on the beach, hearing the sound of the waves as they crash upon the sands, the salty scent of the sea mixed with the hot oil of fish and chips frying and the joy of families, of children enjoying their day out. It's what I dream of when I dream of England. When I go back I could lay for hours on the beach and soak in the ambiance. I lay and close my eyes and I feel at peace. There is no other word for it. When I strive for calm in my life that's what I think of.
On the other hand whenever life starts to close in on me and nightmares strike it is the sea I dream of. I am out enjoying the day - not just any day, but the day I've described above - the perfect day. When I blink I am alone on the beach, on a sand bank, and the water is closing in on me. There is water all around and I can't escape. There is no way out. The water is coming closer and closer. Sometimes I scream, but there is no-one around. Other times I can do nothing but watch.
I always wake before the water completely surrounds me. But I wake with my heart beating furiously against my chest and the terror feeling real in my mind. The dream usually carries through the day and sometimes I am afraid to close my eyes in case it returns to me.
Logically I know the dream is fairly common. I know I only have it when I'm stressed or worried or feel that life is closing in on me. I can't stop the dream or the terror I feel any more that I can stop my love of the sea, the beach, perhaps even of England.