collage by monica brand
collage by monica brand
  Perhaps it is because over half of our body is made of water that the sensations of the beach are almost universally calming: the sound of waves crashing along a shore, the smell of a salt breeze. A tiny reminder of a day spent on the shoreline in the form of a pebble or shell becomes a peaceful talisman.

We are inspired to wear fragments of nature- raw, and slightly rough textures- against bare skin, but prefer the luxuriously crafted to homemade. Dezso by Sara Beltran creates gold-dipped shark adornments; Givenchy mounts an enormous shark tooth (a well-known good luck charm for surfers) on a thick chain; Chanel places its signature CC logo on an iridescent brass earring that looks like a deep sea shell; and Monique Péan creates Mwanza Warthod tusk shell drop earrings dripped in diamonds. 

When we press our ear to a shell we hear the sound of an imaginary shore captured inside.  We picture the white foamed caps, and the shore dotted with shells like glimmering sequins.  We trace the indentations in the sand, indicators of where we’ve come from- fossilized footprints of our memories.  The sea is ancient, primal, and fathomless.  Seventy percent of the earth is water; our oceans hold ninety-seven percent of that water.  We, alone, have an ocean inside of us, as our bodies are made up of fifty to sixty-five percent water.  An ocean within an ocean- you can almost hear it inside of you.   
To what extent do we go to claim an inch- or league- of that quiet sanity for our own? Johnny Depp has an island in the Caribbean that he retreats to between films. Diana Ross has an island for solitude. So does Julia Roberts. Here are few tranquil sea places, where you can enjoy solidarity in your own oasis. 

Dolphin Island in Fiji must be booked by a single party- room for eight. There are three elevated bungalows with palm- thatched roofs, outdoor rain showers, an infinity pool, and thirteen acres of tropical garden.  You and your party have exclusive use of the island from $7,085 per night for a couple to $11,335 for four couples.  On Petit St. Vincent in the Caribbean, things you won’t find are: keys, cars, TVs, phones, Wi-Fi, and an airstrip.  Guests are boated to the island, equipped with picturesque terrace stone cottages that can house up to forty-four guests, white sand beaches, and boats for cruising the grenadines.  In February of 2012, Cambodia’s first private island opened accommodating adventure-seekers around the globe. Song Saa is a sustainable resort, built from local, natural materials.  The spa commands its own island, and visitors can hike in the rainforest or kayak through mangroves.

Having one’s own Private Island is not the only way to feel the all-consuming isolation—the calmness—of being miles under the sea. Lighting candles and meditating near an open window will aid in feeling a physical and mental closeness to the ocean, dissolving landlocked anxiety.  Peer into yourself; peer into your own sea. Slip into a cobalt gown,  mirroring the silky depths of the sea. Don a Saint Laurent sneaker, which receives a California makeover, steeping the state’s laid-back vibe into otherwise minimalist high fashion accessories. Float in a caftan, bringing the style of almost beach-barefootedness to the street runway.         

We are consciously and unconsciously connecting our bodies to the ocean- invoking the spirit of the aquamarine water.  Aquamarine is the Latin word for “seawater.”  It is believed to have originated in the treasure chest of mermaids and, since ancient times, been regarded as the sailor’s lucky stone.  We won’t argue with harnessing a little piece of the ocean on a chain, letting it rest in the deep V of a cotton summer dress.  It looks fabulous, while simultaneously bringing balance and a sense of inner-peace.  We find happiness in just, well, being, even miles from the shore.
~Susan Brickell