Seven Reasons I Love the Ocean
You stand at the water’s edge and look out.
Nothing but sky and sea, a great emptiness,
so vast, so incredibly vast that nothing else exists
and any poison you carry can spew
and never be felt. You can become empty
and do no harm.
Every day it is different. Colors. Sky and wind.
The water darkens and lightens.
Waves become shapeshifters, no two the same,
each one the same. Each day it is different
and yet somehow there is something underneath
eternally the same.
It gives you hope for your own ebbs and flows.
Sand. Sand is under noticed. Under appreciated.
Always shifting, Cleaned with the high tide,
Habtitat for the tinest shy crabs.
It becomes hot with the sun, and an inch below,
cool as the North Sea, It always shifts.
Under your feet, it shifts, Awkward to walk on,
it makes you stronger with every step.
Things die here. Fish. Seals. Old Crabs.
Things dies and wash up on the sand,
on display for a tidal season then washed away.
It is our only time to examine death up close
without embarrassment at our curiosity,
to see just how miraculously put together we are,
and yet how temporary.
All without threat of your own mortality.
Sit in the sand long enough and you become an animal.
The birds ignore you. The seals settle in around you
with their doe eyes looking at you, soulful and unafraid.
It is good to feel you are not dangerous
and have the universe confirm it.
Did I mention the vastness?
It is good to feel small. To have no one count on you
because you are so small. To know your failures
have less consequence than you feared,
When you are emptied. You can be filled anew.
Like tides and sunsets and storms.
It is good to die here and be reborn as yourself
with water, air and sky. You become eternal
long before your expiration date.
About this poem
I did not discover my love of the ocean until I was in my sixties. But it runs deep.