What is it about the ocean that people love so much? Yes, it’s beautiful but why? Why does it draw so many people to it’s sandy shores each year? I was lucky enough spend 4 heavenly days on the beach contemplating this thought. Though, with kids, contemplating anything is a challenge but thankfully they don’t get up very early so I managed to escape to the beach to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic. I have not been to the beach in over 10 years and I can say with confidence that coming to it as an adult is more meaningful than it was when I was as a child.
Much of my life I would have to sit and absorb my surroundings. As a deeply set introvert , I could sit in my area for hours, taking in the natural beauty of a certain area. It is not enough to simply see with my eyes or feel the sand on my toes, it must seep into my bones and soak into my soul.
On the surface the ocean is about as simple as you can get with clean lines and muted colors and the pattern and predictability of the waves. This, is why I think it has great appeal and much of the reason we find it so relaxing to be around. But if we take a moment to understand the complexity of the waves, the ocean morphes into a magical enitity that has a life of its own. It’s ebbs and flows begins to resemble parts of our lives where it runs parallel with our emotions and events. We recall when emotions feel overwhelming at times like the choppy waves of the surf or when we feel sucked into the deep like the rip tides that threatened us as we swim or those calm moments when we watch the waves crash into the sand giving us the peace that comes when things are predictable. The expanse can feel like a great distance between us and a goal or relationship or God. Or it can bring the wonder of mystery and the great gift it is to be here, witnessing the sheer miracle of creation, of life, of the now. The depth of the ocean can be the depths of our sadness, too murky, too deep , too scary for us to explore but it can also be the depths of our love shining golden in the morning sun. The footprints that we leave, though fleeting like our lives, is stored deep in the memory of the sea.
The ocean is not just a calm relaxing day at the beach, underneath it all it becomes a symbol of our own lives. It’s vastness reflects the vastness of our lives and when we recognize the beauty of it we recognize the beauty of our own lives. I believe this is the source of where our love of the ocean comes from and the draw it has on our souls. It is timeless subject for artists and writers that brings introspections and stories that help us find meaning in our everyday lives.