Monday, March 5, 2012

How About The Sea?

I didn't spend much time at the ocean as a kid.  I remember families leaving town routinely, heading to the beach.  They would come home with red noses, salt water taffy and necklaces made of tiny little shells.  I was more drawn to the rivers.
I've always felt that families seem to pull toward bodies of water as though through an ancient forcefield of history.  My family is filled with fishermen and fisherwomen and their stories haunt the rivers of the too, have I.  

My husband grew up by the sea, on the coast of South Africa in a windy city with a bay stretching for miles.  He told me this when we met but it didn't occur to me how different it was from my own inclination to the rivers.  He has often said wistfully, "I would love to have a house by the sea."  To which I always reply, "how about a river?"

But something happened on this last trip to the ocean.  We were there with his family.  His sister with whom he spent the most tender days of growing up and with whom he shares this ocean love.  We spent the day collecting shells, building sandcastles....the usual stuff....but for once I wasn't just struck by the magnitude of the ocean, but of the sky and the constancy of motion.  Just like my beloved rivers, nothing at the ocean stays still and nothing can compete with the size of the sky and the incessant shuffling of air, or land, on water, on is crisp with symphony.

At some stage I caught site of Saffie staring out across the ocean, the cold March waters did not yield to the warm air but soon his shirt was off and he and our brother in law were racing for the waves...full-tilt , not turning back.  Racing, as it were, to the same waters that drew them in as children.  Their history rolls in those waves.

And so to it seems...will ours.  My own children have now been to the beach more times in their life than I have been in most of my entire lifetime.  They have history here but as children of parents who grew up with an ocean between them, they have history there too.  Across the water, beneath that wide breathing sky.  When they arrive at the ocean they race for it, full tilt...not turning back.

There is so much to learn about who we are by where we came from.

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. what a nice sentiment...i'm also a nut for the ocean but even a bigger nut for ocean skies. one of the few places you can usually see horizon to horizon and i'm nearly obsessed with taking pictures of skies - i'll have mine back from mexico soon to post but i totally hear you on this. there's just something about it.

  2. Another beautiful post! The waves keep rolling in ...


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