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Do you know my friend
he watches everything we do
you, rolling over
in your beach bank sleep
me, chasing seagulls
down the dunes;
You, your skirts held high
wading in the water.
Those who go alone.
He sees them all.
If we’ve ourselves to know
we should get to know the sea.
Rod McKuen, The Sea
Here in Arizona, the last time we had a seashore was likely several hundred million years ago. Not a lot of shoreline in this epoch. And while I have grown fond of the warmth, sun, and absence of humidity, the lack of ocean access is a bit disconcerting.
There something primal within having lived my whole life never more than a short drive to the ocean. Even in the deepest chill of winter, the sight of breaking waves always offers a promise of summer’s warm winds.
So we have journeyed north to the Oregon coast to once again connect to the sea. Because for me, being near the ocean is always an experience in connectivity to something elemental. It is why the gentle sounds of an ocean surf can lull a child, or a child at heart, to blissfully sound sleep. There is a comfort and reassurance in the constancy of the waves.
When someday the sun begins its final stages of existence and the oceans boil away—taking the waves and rhythms with it—I’m not sure if humanity will survive, no matter how technologically advanced we may be.
Or even if we would choose to.
Perhaps, deep in our collective unconscious as Carl Jung named it, we retain that distant memory of when our evolutionary predecessors first crawled from the sea. They never ventured far, holding fast to the embryonic link to the ocean as we seem to do.
Thus, that connection draws me back.
All the oceans of the world are connected—it is why no matter where you find the ocean there is a link to your home—but, there are differences between what I grew up with and the Oregon coast.
While the waves, sand, and salt air are equally rejuvenating, the difference between the New England coast and here could not be more dramatic.
Here, the old growth cedar and the rolling hills run right to the shore.
The scattered remains of downfall trees create an obstacle course on the way to the sand.
But it is my old friend, the sea…and I can feel her embrace.
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