I never much cared for the sea. As a growing child, on occasion my parents would drag me out to the beach during the lull of summer. It wasn't very often. Perhaps they grew tired of my complaints, boundless as the ocean itself. Most of what remains in my memory lies sunburn's scorching sting against my skin, the icy prick of waves as they lap at my ankles. The gnarled gravel of shattered shells jabbing into my soles. The onslaught of salt that overwhelms the senses, at the very moment so much as a drop of that saline leaked past my lips-- that is to say, nothing particularly good. And oh, the smell, don't get me started on the stench. A brine so vile that surely it must cure the decaying creatures that call this mire their home. It's a setting so many hold fondness for, though I never understood why. Until it all was destined to leave me, that is. Once the looming threat of change makes its presence known, even the things you never once cared for start to become sacred. And there are so, so many things. More than you could ever hope to comprehend. Things both large and small, obvious and indistinct. As all those individual elements pile up, it begins to dawn on you the sheer weight of what you're about to lose, and swiftly a deep sorrow wells up within you, overtakes your being. Arms lash out to either side, and out from each fingertip spool threads in all directions, winding around whatever it is that catches their desperate grasp. Be it the warm hues of autumn's decay, the light crunch of snow underfoot, leafy hills and the mountainous spires that crest above them, decrepit architecture within that time itself abandoned, hell even the sickly scent of the sea; the web of connecting threads bundles up beneath your fists, and with all your might, you pull. It all comes reeling back toward you. The mass closes in, surrounds you, buries you, crushes you, suffocates you. So why does it all still feel so distant? It's right outside your door, yes, but you've already made your decision. It won't be for much longer. You've begun to mourn what is not yet lost. Your mind has already set adrift, and no sensation of touch nor sight nor smell can reconnect you to the surroundings you took for granted all your life. Funny, isn't it, that you become blind to the very things you're longing to experience, well aware it will be the last opportunity you're granted to bid a final farewell... And in an instant, it's all gone. You've ripped the rug right out from under your own feet. See, all of those things you long for are not gone, they very much still exist. Unlike a death, there is no finality here, no closure. Everything you grew to love is still there, continuing on without you; it simply sits long out of reach. But the reality is that you are now here. In this flat, featureless, barren wasteland. You're thousands of miles away from that which shaped you, yet those connecting threads linger, their ends still bound to your skin. They tug at your chest, rip it wide open. The first four stages of grief cement themselves in the open wound, cycle around, loop through each other and erratically jump back and forth, all wracking your aching heart without the catharsis of acceptance. You did this to yourself, you know. This was of your own volition. A fear begins to bubble up, the fear that at the end of all this, everything you've come to call "home" will only ever remain a memory. A memory that, with time, will decay. Deteriorate. That which held such importance, such significance, would simply disintegrate as does salt in water.