Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Ocean

Standing on the ocean floor - the tidal bar which connects Mount Desert and Bar Islands at low tide

I have always loved the ocean and been drawn to it. I love its beauty and its constancy. I respect its power. I never liked swimming in the ocean after dark. The few times I have, I’ve felt as if I were overstepping my bounds, intruding on the ocean’s privacy. I’ve always felt comforted at the ocean’s edge. Walking along the sand, in and out of the lapping waves, at any time of the year, in any kind of weather, I have always felt safe and warm. Living about two hours from the ocean is the only thing I wish I could change about where we live now. But to magically transplant our home and land within walking distance of the ocean or better still, in sight of it, would financially put it impossibly out of reach.

But right now I wish we were closer. I would love to listen to the surf, the gulls, the wind. I would love to smell the ocean; the crispness of high tide, the pungency of low tide. I would love to feel the power of the ocean and be comforted by it once again. Right now I’m feeling a little overwhelmed - perhaps one too many spinning plates. At the ocean’s edge, all the plates come down off the poles; any problems I may be facing are forced into perspective by the ocean’s vastness and its deep, ancient rhythms. I need that perspective right now.


dancingmorganmouse said...

We live about a 10 minute walk from a small harbour, a branch off Sydney Harbour, and we hardly ever pop down. It's about a 20 minute drive from some of Sydney's famous beaches, been only once in 8 years. And yet, I am a fan of the ocean, but only cold oceans (the Southern Ocean, not the warm ones here (the Pacific). Which ocean is yours?
(Mr Brown, on the other hand, sails on the harbour every weekend - madness).

purpleronnie said...

I live about 3 kilometers away from the beach and do not go nearly enough. But I do agree - when I need to gather my thoughts, have some time alone and just regain a bit of perspective - the ocean is where I go. I think being there reminds you of just how powerless and insignificant one is in the face of nature - and that's what brings the perspective.

Sending you some ocean air and atmosphere and lots of love and hugs


Sue said...

I have very mixed emotions about the sea...

On one hand, I couldn't imagine living anywhere too far away from it (We're about 10 minutes from the closest). I love the way it smells, looks and sounds. To me, there's nothing better then packing a flask and a picnic (or picking up McDonald's fries & coffee) and sitting in the car on an icey winter's day. Just watching the waves beating against the shore. There's also not much that beats a brisk, early morning walk on a fresh spring day.

The water here's generally too cold to put your foot in, so we don't do too much swimming. Day or night. Well, not these days anyway. We did when we were kids, back when we didn't register the freezing temperatures (seriously - it gives you cramps in your feet).

On the other hand, the sea has taken so much away from me and i am very much afraid its strength and of what lies beneath. I dread the day Jake tells me he's getting a surf board.


Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Our part of the Atlantic Ocean off of Massachusetts and Rhode Island is pretty cool and refreshing in the summer months. Up in Maine off of Mount Desert Island, the water is icier year round.
The only time I've gone swimming in warmer water was on a trip to Bermuda. But that was in September and I don't know if the water was warm because it was the end of summer or Bermuda's location in the Atlantic.
Next time you go for a walk down to the harbor, take a deep breath for me would you?
- Lee

Hi Ronnie -
Thank you for sending along some ocean air along with love and hugs. I feel better already!
I think you're right about feeling somewhat powerless and insignificant compared to the ocean. I find it calming and the perspective immediate.
- Lee

Hi Sue -
Your mentioning a picnic by the ocean made me think of a January (winter up here) birthday celebration we had for my sister Gail, down at a beach in Rhode Island many years ago. What fun it was!

I'm glad that despite all the pain and loss associated with the ocean that you are still able to treasure so many aspects of it.
It's good that Jake is becoming so comfortable and competent with his swimming. Whatever sports and hobbies he is drawn to, may he always stay well and happy...
- Lee