Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2 - 30 Days of Thanks: The Ocean

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Over the last few years, life has become a whole lot busier and more complicated for my little family. Between work, school, after-school, swimming lessons, soccer, play dates, and errands, the weeks seem to fly by. I can get overwhelmed by all the activity.

I cope by going to the ocean as much as possible.

There have been so many Sundays when I've felt the need to head to the shore, and my family indulges the call. So, we pack up a bunch of snacks, changes of shoes and socks, and my trusty bucket for collecting rocks, shells, and sea glass. We throw everything into the car, drive 45 minutes to Gloucester or Rockport, and spend a few hours watching the waves, turning over rocks to look for crabs and snails, building sand castles, and climbing the rocks along the beach cliffs.

My favorite part is when I get to sit with the sea spray on my face, taking it all in and watching my boys explore the beach together.

A always laughs at me because, whenever we're at the ocean, I get all giddy and smiley and I hop and dance around with glee. I thank him for indulging me in these spontaneous trips, but the truth is that he and R love it just as much as I do. Especially R. The ocean is part of his young soul already. I love that he and I share that. When the wind is just right at home, which is a few miles inland from the water, we'll smell the ocean in the air. R always turns to me and says, "The ocean is calling to us, Mama."

It is hard to express how thankful I am for the ocean and the beach and for what they do for my soul. And, I'm equally thankful for the fact that I live close enough to be able to enjoy them year-round. (My favorite times to head to the water are on cold, overcast, and rainy days. It seems even more beautiful to me then.)

What part of nature speaks to you?

Thankfulness in Action
Here are two organizations working to preserve our oceans and the delicate balance of marine life:


sandwhichisthere said...

I understand the call of the ocean. I often feel it even though I now live far from the ocean. It especially calls this time of year. It is time to get out the longboat and go and pillage England or row to Vineland and get pillaged by the Skraelings. Have you ever watched the movie The 13th Warrior or read The Long Ships? Both of them are historically based. I read of Red Orm when I was twelve and will never forget that book.
When I lived in Winthrop, I was just across the street from the edge of the ocean. I worked until 4 A.M. and would go to sleep listening to the waves and the plaintiff cries of the seagulls. Sometimes the waves would crash over the seawall and sometimes they would gently lap at the edges of the beach. The roar or the whisper of the ocean was always present.
When I was young my Mother would often make soup. I used to crumble a handful of saltines into the soup. My Mother called it Gush Mooey. Everything went well into her soup except for broccoli. The stubs were O.K. but the florets were not. Some cheese floated on top was fine and some crispy bacon bits were a well received treat.
Soup and a cool breeze from the ocean are one of my dearest pleasant memories. It was in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey and is filled with Minestrone and the thrill of new love. Grey and wet and cool and throbbing with promise, it still remains as one of the most memorable times of my life. It will always be one of my thanks to the ocean,

Kristen said...

Thank you, Dad. I think I know where I get it from. :-) Your memories are beautiful.

City Girl said...

What great photos! I love how R feels the same way that you do about the ocean. I always felt that way when we lived in Southern California. xoxo