Home from the sea



“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. I have heard them all, and of the three elemental voices, that of ocean is the most awesome, beautiful and varied.”
― Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod

The older I get, the more I feel the need–a pilgrimage almost–to go to the sea.  As we drove home from the Oregon coast yesterday, I thought how lucky I am to live in a place where I’m a long one day car drive away from the ocean.  It’s comforting to know that, somehow.  I guess it’s the primeval knowledge of knowing we all came from the sea.  JFK once said, “it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.”

We stayed in the little village of Gearhart, which looks just like Cape Cod with its weathered shingle homes, and the same sandy and grassy dunes which you must walk through to get to the shore.   I always appreciate transitions– a gentle passage from this to that–and the narrow paths winding through the dunes are perfect.   The mist off the water gets closer and the roar of the waves gets louder and louder, and your heart races in anticipation, and, at last, you crest a little hill and there you are, with the magnificent endless sea in front of you.  It’s the most beautiful loneliness.  On the first night in our tiny cottage, a block from the ocean, I heard rain pelting against the window and the roar of the waves, and a soft, gentle wind chime which seemed to be playing a melody.  It was the kind of night I didn’t want to go back into sleep; the kind of night to remember when Winter nights are too dark, back in my woods.

And, now, I am settling in at home in that most beautiful dusky low golden light of late Autumn.  The lake is tranquil and I saw the moon shining on the water from my sleep last night.  It’s on its way to becoming a supermoon, full on November 14.  The last time it was this close to earth,  I was a one year old baby, 68 years ago.  I’ve been ‘from whence I came’ and now, I am happy to just be home.

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