The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

An ode to my home

My one and only true love in this world
Photo by Alaina Steinmetz

People often think of “home” as a physical house where one grows up, while some believe it is the city you lived in during your childhood. The meaning of “home” is something different for me. It represents my happy place; the place I ultimately feel ethereal. 

The ocean. Many often think of it as just a body of water, while others see it as a habitat for a variety of species. To me, it embodies much more than just its physical and descriptive characteristics. The ocean is my place to heal, relax and revive what truly brings out the best in me. 

The concept of living near the ocean has never-not been an idea of mine. Everyone who knows me knows that is all I talk about (sorry to you all, I am still not going to stop until it happens). However, what they don’t understand is the real reason why. 

My love for the ocean started at the ripe young age of five. My parents finally saved up enough money for our first big vacation and settled on Captiva Island, Florida; one of the best shelling locations in the United States. 

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Little did they know, my time here would alter the rest of my life.

The beauty of the island is something I will never get over. Sunsets only people dream of, a vast amount of wildlife and some of the most beautiful seashells are what make Captiva so unique. It is my home, always. 

My brain chemistry was transformed almost immediately during that very first visit. As I grew up, it became something more meaningful and took on a much more powerful role in my life. Captiva represents a valuable lesson in life.  

The island has been through the toughest hurricanes and stood strong through other environmental disasters. Throughout it all, one thing never seemed to change, its resilience to the challenges that were thrown its way. 

Captiva always managed to bounce back, both naturally and with the help of the beautiful people who support the island. 

This concept can be applied to our lives as well, and it is something I resonate with—heavily. I have gone through hard points in my life and have had to rely on myself and the others around me to help get myself out of those tough situations. 

Through the ups and downs, however, I will always think back to my time on the island. The salty wind caressing my face and blowing through my hair, the crashing of the waves onto one another, and the soft warm sand between my toes. 

I will think about their delicate way of life. Being able to ride your bike from one place to another, decorating your house with the never-ending abundance of seashells and truly allowing yourself to be one with the island. 

It reminds me of simpler times, allowing me to take a step back, breathe and know that everything will be alright. This environment is what truly allows me to be my best self; it latched onto me. 

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its nets of wonder forever,” said Jaques Cousteau

The nets of wonder is exactly what has enticed me. The beauty the ocean holds and the representation around it. It will be my home, forever and always. 

Steinmetz can be reached at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
Alaina Steinmetz
Alaina Steinmetz, Multimedia Editor
Alaina Steinmetz is a fourth-year environmental geology student and this is her second semester at The Spectator. In her free time, she likes to drink Coca Cola and be outside.

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