Why do we love to go to the sea, to be near gently lapping water? Jay suggests that it’s because we came from the sea, that so much of our bodily composition is still water. Maybe. Whenever I’m asked during one of those “picture a peaceful place” meditation exercises, I always think of Silver Beach, New Jersey. I’m probably 13 years old, floating on an inflatable raft in water that’s so remarkably clear that I can see the sandy floor six feet down. The waves are more like ripples. The sun is mild and comforting. I’ve drifted away from everyone else and I’m comforted by the peace, the quiet, the rolling water. Probably such a welcome memory because I have managed to escape from my chaotic and noise-prone family, pushed to the extreme by spending a week in the close quarters of a small bungalow (romantically and oddly named La Cigale.) Recently an acquaintance told me that to distance himself from his violent home as a child at the beach in Ogunquit, Maine, he’d lose himself building elaborate sandcastles, cities even, where the receding tide had created inlets in the sand. “I’d pretend it was the Nile and I’d build Alexandria.” When other kids would ask to help, he’d assign them unimportant minor projects, perhaps a granary, keeping the main parts of his vision for himself. He, too, knew the deeply satisfying and imaginative pleasures offered by the sea.