I used to be very close to my father’s family back when I was younger.
I loved them dearly, and even though we only saw each other on holidays, I had very intimate relationships with my cousins. They were like a bunch of brothers and sisters that I got to play with when school was off.
Most of the time it was me going to their town and staying there though, very few times they got to come to my house and stay.
All of them (my father had 12 brothers and sisters) came once one summer. They stayed over, all of them, so we could all visit the beach together – something that only happened that once. And I remember when we ran to the shore, from my house – I live a couple of streets away from the beach and we couldn’t contain our excitement, so we started running as soon as we went outside my home and just did not listen to any of our moms yelling at us to stop. We kept going until the waves touched our toes.
And then we stopped. One of my cousins had never seen the ocean before. We all stood there for a few seconds experiencing the ocean’s grandness and our smallness together, in awe. Then we ran some steps back to have more impulse to run forward. I can still hear the laughter of all of us splashing our way forward.
When we were deep enough we started getting closer to each other, still laughing in glee and that’s when my cousin – that one that had never been to the ocean – looked at me, eyes wide open and exclaimed “it’s salty! This water is salty!”
It had never occurred to me, since the beach was my patio, that someone would not know such thing. “Of course it is!” I spat back at him, before one other cousin came and asked him to have a swim race. I only realised that he had never been to the ocean decades later. And it made the moment much bigger, so much significant.