As of late, a few friends and I have developed the daily habit for going a walk after "la comida" (lunch) for 1.5 hours or so, and we usually go to one of the beaches to the north or south of Dénia (and often relax there for a while.)
Every time we get near the ocean and I catch that first whiff of saltwater spray in the air, it always causes me to pause, as I am instantly filled with a wave of joy. There's just something about that smell - many of the best memories of my life were on the coast in Maine, and when I smell saltwater, it hearkens back to fishing for mackerel on the dock with my Pop Pop, swiftly boating across the harbor for ice cream with my cousins, digging for clams in rolled up jeans (or one time, saving a jellyfish) on the pebbly beach while my cousin metal detects, and picking blueberries on the rocky hills right on the shore. What joy! I have always loved the ocean, and I really do feel like an east coast girl (I hope to live in New England in the future.)
But there's something else about that vast blue expanse, more than fond memories, that lifts my soul to God when I gaze upon it. It's far deeper and wider than I can imagine... kind of like looking up at mountains, (oh hey - we have one of those, too, in Denia), I love how it makes me feel small. Because I know that the God who created that colossal body of H2O (and filled it with all kinds of interesting creatures and life systems) is the same one who take cares of me.
So even all the way across the Atlantic (and through the straight of Gibraltar) from my home, I can look at the deep blue sea and smell the salt spray air and know right then that I'm in the hands of a good and great God.