I've always lived near the ocean. I love the smell of briny air--whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall. I believe a walk on the beach is the antidote for many ills. "The vast majority of water on the Earth's surface, over 96 percent, is saline water in the oceans." (https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html) Of course, humans cannot drink ocean water, but the ocean provides fish, lobsters, clams, shrimp, mussels, and other delicacies humans enjoy.
I feel like I'm standing at the edge of the world when I'm at the beach. However, I would never want to live on the beach. I know the power of an angry ocean and the damage it can do. It is far, far better to live on high ground.
Since I'm a Jersey girl, water figures prominently in many of my books. I got the idea for Sea of Hope while walking on the beach one day. Heaven's Blue came about when my sister's job inspired me to write about a mosquito researcher. Irons in the Fire resulted from frequent rides in hubby's motorboat. In Daddy Wanted, the heroine's hobby is surfing. I never tried surfing, but I've spend hours watching surfers catch waves--and when there's a storm coming I always go to the beach to watch the daredevil surfers brave the awesome power of the ocean.
Humans are supposed to care for the earth and the environment. It's a job given to us by God. We haven't done very well in obeying that command. The beaches in New Jersey are being swallowed up by the ocean. The storms are becoming more violent. The earth is warming, the ice caps are melting, and I worry that I might soon be living on oceanfront property. As much as I love a walk on the beach, I don't want the ocean at my door.
But I still find the beach a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. I can watch the gulls and the fishermen. I can pick up shells and marvel at their beauty. I can make up more stories to write. It's a great place to relax and simply be.