As I slowly walked towards the Belfast Harbor Shore yesterday afternoon, all of the sounds of the world seemed to fade away. The revving of the engines, the clanking of iron on iron, the planes up in the sky and the trains on the rails. It all just faded away, and I was left with the familiar sound of the waves rolling towards the beach. There were no sounds of cash registers, news casts, motorcycles, no bells or whistles, no busy signals or automated tellers. There was none of that, and it felt wonderfully normal. There was nothing but me, my wife, and the sea.
The afternoon tide was returning from its trip out to sea and I kept having to back up every so often so as to not get wet. I wouldn’t really have minded though.
Although I could just barely see a faint hint of the waves rolling in towards me, I could clearly hear them, feel them, and smell them. It was a wonderful feeling that turtle hurdled me back a million years ago. Instantly I was transformed into a teenager, walking on the beach behind the Sea view Restaurant in Lubec, without a care in the world, and all the time to go along with it. When I think of the ocean, I think of that cove where I used to spend hours walking, sitting, thinking, taking it all in. those were probably some of the most relaxing times of my life.
As I stood on the Belfast shore, I was quickly reminded of just how simple things are. Through all of the mixed up, crumbled up, shook up nonsense that we fill our lives with, it’s really the simple things that define our lives. No hustle, or bustle, or deadlines, or time frames. Just you, and family and how you fit all of the rest of it in between.
I had my digital recorder with me yesterday afternoon, so I pulled it out and started recording the waves rolling in. I wanted to send it to my folks in an email. I wanted to let them know that an old friend said, “Hello”. I started recording, figuring I would do about a minute or so. That didn’t seem long enough though. A minute was just not enough time to take it all in.
I remembered back to those Downeast days, on the shores, not wanting to have to leave the comfort of the sights and sounds. I used to walk for hours on end around that cove, and it all seemed to fit. I wanted to stay forever, and never have to leave. I remember sticking a stick in the sand at high tide; watching the waves come up and tickle the stick, then slowly, gradually, move back away from it, as the tide was changing. That was incredible how the tides continue to work, no matter where you are, no matter what is going on in the world, they never stop coming and going. A truly remarkable feat if you think about it. It is actually mesmerizing to say the least. Mesmerizing. There are so many words that describe it, and its effects on me.
If I could have, I probably would have built a house right there and lived out my days under the sun, on the shore. It was just that good of a feeling.
Well I did record a few minutes of the wonderfully soothing Belfast waterfront sounds, and as I hit the “end” button, I found myself not wanting to leave the shore, just as I did way back when. The feelings were the same, from deep inside, they were the same.
I don’t know if the smells and sounds of the sea have the same effect on others, as they do on me. I would hope they do, because it really is a mystical, magical feeling that starts at the tip of my toes, and ends at the tip of my nose. I have long feet and a big nose, so that is a lot of area to gather up a ton of sea faring emotions.
I think if I had the credentials, I would open up a therapist office. I would put a nice comfy couch, or chair, right there on the beach. That’s all my clients would need. Forty five minutes of nothing but the sounds of the ocean. Nothing else.
Every time I have walked away from the sounds of the sea, I have felt a sort of cleansing. I have felt that no matter what kind of crap life throws at me, it would be ok. The ocean would make it ok.
Not wanting to, I did finally turn and walk away from the shore. I could feel it pulling me backwards as I walked away from it. I could hear it calling for me to come back. I could feel the pounding of the waves on the beach as I said good bye inside.
There’s something from the sea that has worked its way inside of me. It found all the right nooks and crannies, and firmly took up house inside me. I suppose that the feelings will be with me always. I suppose that a piece of me will always be wandering along that Lubec cove behind the Seaview Restaurant. Although the restaurant has long been closed, the cove remains, and in my mind, I am walking along it, stick in hand, smiling.
When I arrived home, I could not wait to hook up the digital recorder to the computer. As I scrolled through the files, I found the waves files. There were three or four of them that I recorded. I sat mesmerized as I played them on my pc sound system. The feeling was wonderful. I smiled as I thought of my mom and dad listening to the sound attachments in their emails. I hoped that they got the same feelings from listening to the files, as I did recording them.
Knowing them the way that I do, I am pretty sure that they did.