“When I see the sea once more, will the sea have seen or not seen me? Why do the waves ask me the same questions I ask them?” -Pablo Neruda
It’s one of my favorite poems; resonating within me like some forgotten memory. I became acquainted with the ocean from an early age, my mother being a marine life lover of considerable degree.
I sense it instinctively; driving closer and smelling the salt on the air, feeling the change in temperature, breathing in the brine. It’s a cleansing ritual for me, washing away my anxiety and leaving only thoughtfulness. I walk along the waves with my headphones in, able to think about things more clearly.
I know when the weight of the Fate presses heavily upon my chest that it is time I return to my sanctuary. The sensation is familiar; the feeling of sand underneath my bare feet. The sounds comforting; the gulls crying overhead with the mellow roar of the blue expanse before me.
I had the opportunity to go to the Oregon coast this weekend: to Garibaldi, a peaceful crabbing community; to Seaside, the bustling tourist attraction; and to Cannon Beach, my favorite expanse of beach to walk along. Haystack Rock stands as a monolith one way, offering up tide pools to explore.
In the other direction, the decommissioned “Terrible Tilly” lighthouse stands as an eerie reminder of our inability to conquer the ocean.
I ate seafood to my heart’s content; I scarfed down delicious “seafoam”; I dug a hole in the sand until I hit water, building a sand castle directly next to it; I read my book “The Silent World” by Jacques Cousteau while laying in the sun; I drank until the earth spun; and I came home feeling rejuvenated.
In my ideal afterlife, Heaven is an endless beach where a new place to explore lay just beyond the horizon.