I was born and raised in a small Polish sea resort town called Sopot, on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea.
This image is a hand-printed lithographic postcard that I collaged as part of my friend Ola’s mail-art project. Ola makes these sea-inspired postcards and gives them to people to alter and send back to her from overseas.
The sea has always been a big part of my identity, as it often is for people who grew up along the coast. When I moved inland for college, I was surprised by how much I longed for the sea. That feeling didn’t let up for four years.
I would see the colors of the sea and the patterns of its currents in small things like scraps of paper and the insides of envelopes.
I filled my sketchbooks with compositions that reminded me of the horizon line between sea and sky.
I would arrange my family photos in a makeshift beach above my desk.
When I wrote to my family, I always included a greeting to the sea.
Every time I visit, I can’t resist taking a picture of it.
My phone is full of these generic crappy photos. I never look at them.
It doesn’t really matter how these snapshots look—their only purpose is to remind me that I can always return.
If I don’t have a camera with me, I take a mental picture.
I’m fascinated by how the sea is always changing, but constantly familiar.
If you come from a seaside town, I’m sure you understand. ♦
May's theme is GROWING PAINS. For details on how to send us your work, please read our Submit page. ✴
Rookie is an online magazine and book series for teenagers. Each month, a different editorial theme drives the writing, photography, and artwork that we publish. Learn more about us here, and find out how to submit your work here!