Yesterday, for the first time in over a year, I got over to sit by my beloved ocean for a little while. It's been a rough go of it, healthwise, for almost a year now. My husband drove me. and I sat on a bench, watching the last of the sunworshipers, the swimmers, and kids turning cartwheels in the warm ocean breeze at four in the afternoon.(Yes, ye northerners, it was a warm day here in South Florida:-)
Usually, I prefer the ocean at dawn or at near dusk, when only the walkers and joggers are around and the sky is beginning its milky pink change into day or night, but this is when my husband could take me. I'm too dizzy to drive yet, so...
The sea has always been a place of meditation for me. Before CFIDS, when I was able to bike, every weekend, weather permitting, my neighbor and I left at dawn, biked over to the ocean then turned north into Palm Beach for our weekly twenty-six mile round-trip ride. The ocean lay to our right. Exclusive Palm Beach mansions rose to our left. Trump's private club (formerly the Trump Mansion) that set Palm Beachers in a twitter (oh the fuss when The Beach Boys performed there!), was on our route.
Even better were times I could get out on my boat, out past the inlet when the tide was changing and the water went from pale clear green to deep turquise in an abrupt line, as if a child had drawn the two colors next to each other. When I lived in Hawaii, the newspaper ran a poll and published the results. How many people felt trapped living on an island, they asked. It came out about fifty-fifty, as I recall. The strange part was that it had never occurred to me to feel trapped there. The sea was simply an extension of the land I stood upon. I loved that I could circle the island and see it to my right almost the entire way.
I'm posting one of my favorite sea poems below. I would imagine most of you have read it over the years at some point. If you have a favorite, tell me about it. I love poems that laud the sea.
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
By John Masefield (1878-1967).
(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)
Found on This Site