Former TCSS employee and well-traveled surfing mermaid, Jessie Armstrong, weighs in on what sliding waves means to her...
My first Love by Jessie Armstrong
I was 7 years old when I met her:
the love of my life.
She danced on my toes
then consumed me whole.
My time here would never be the same;
I knew it.
They say that I was a natural --
always meant to swim in her love.
We met up north
in Lake Michigan's windy waters
where she carried me in on my first wave.
She stole my heart and
refused to give it back.
It's been 13 years.
Her touch taught me many
little lessons about life,
as well as the most important ones:
You do anything for the ones you love,
and you must travel the distance for them.
You should never feel alone
Love always warms, surrounds,
and pushes you new directions
you never meant to go.
Sometimes you find something better
without noticing you even tried to get there.
She taught me a love
for the Earth and
how to treat it with amiability
Be aware of how you impact
this natural world.
She tests me when fear speeds my heart.
You must not be scared.
You must not panic.
You can only relax
and remember to breathe
when given the next chance.
She gave me a new sense of fashion
and reminds me that it's okay to dance.
Swing your hips,
wiggle your butt,
lunge it out, anything
to keep yourself cozy, full,
Watch where you step,
she whispers through the wind.
There are possibilities of poison
in the choices you make.
Slow down enough to see
what is directly in front of you.
Slow down enough to touch
the ones who share your zeal.
Don't be greedy,
even if it is just a wave.
But most of all;
materialism should not be your melody,
experiences should be your anthem.
And for that reason,
I gave up everything for her:
closeness to my family and friends,
school and college athletics.
I wanted all of what she had,
and I know I'll never regret
my first love: