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It has always been this way.  I know no different.  The colors that blend into blues.  The murky greens.  The foam coming up white when the winds whip up, matching my own frenetic, ever changing emotions. The calms before and the changes after… and the constant lessons on how to just ride the waves.

Sometimes I taste salt… And it burns my eyes and nostrils as I try to savor the fresh air.  I gladly glide here in wide open spaces, caught in a rhythm of constantly moving but feeling as though I never progress. It’s strange to feel so alone when I know there is so much existence beneath me, and when I see visitors soaring above me. Often it feels cold and hot at the same time. I don’t understand it, but I’ve grown accustomed.

Other times the air is so still as to be almost stale.  And I taste nothing and can barely breathe the heavy air in.  That’s when I begin to hear the buzzing.  A steady endless hum that I can feel but never understand.  And the pace is slow here and I don’t mind it so long as I teach myself to half-die. It feels impossible to move through it on certain days, and the danger feels near so I never let my limbs drift. I keep close and inside myself, and I begin to prefer my own company.

It’s never so perfect, though, as when the flow is steady, and I’m never in one place too long.  I just glide by and see new sights, smell delicious mysteries, and hear a thousand sounds pass by me on the banks.  The sounds of lines and reels as strangers attempt to bring in a catch.  The shouts and giggles of children playing on the edges and getting their toes nibbled by the braver, more curious inhabitants of the water. Every so often a voice shouts a greeting and I am happy to smile and acknowledge the connection. It’s a thought I have often that I wish I could be enveloped by the stability they know. And I realize that perhaps they wish to know what I witness.

There is no instruction manual for being a girl on a raft. But it is all I know.