I guess I’ve always liked the sea. No matter where its amazing force could be found, I felt the same about it. It doesn’t matter where I am, DownEast, Belfast, Rockland, Old Orchard Beach, Reid State Park, Popham Beach, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Stockton Springs, Tampa or wherever I have been where the rippled waves of an incoming tide rolled up onto the shore, it all felt wonderfully comfortable and incredibly right.
There’s something about the sounds of a wave rolling in along a sandy shore, or the unforgettable excitement coming from a group of kids digging in the sand and writing their names along the smooth sands of a long, inviting beach. Some things are made to go hand in hand, and the union that’s born lives on forever in the winds of time. All I have to do is stop, take a second to listen, and I can almost hear the bellowing boom of a high tide wave pounding in through the caverns of a rugged, rocky shore.
I remember one summer, back when they seemed like they never ended, I was sitting in a little hollowed out cave of rock on the shore of an island. The island was off the coast of Maine and I was with my father. I think I was about ten or eleven years old. I loved climbing on the huge rock formations along the shore, and this island had a multitude of amazing formations that kept me climbing and jumping and exploring for an incredible week. The waves were getting fairly close to where we were sitting. The spray from the crashing onto the rocks in front of us was cooling, as it had been a hot summer’s day. We were both sitting silently, as one usually does when the ocean has taken advantage of it’s hypnotic grip on you. The setting was perfect, the sea was showing off the only way a sea knows how, and its audience was completely captivated. With the crashing and the booming of the white foam spray, if I had of been alone, I probably would have been petrified. I don’t think I had ever been witness to such an amazing display by the ocean, and as the waves kept getting closer and closer, my heart and soul soared along the winds of high tide.
All of a sudden, the ocean unleashed its marvel upon us. An enormous wave swelled towards us and came crashing down on the layers of huge rocks in front of us. The next several seconds was like something out of a movie. The white foam came tumbling in on us, and we were completely covered by its biting grip. I tried to catch my breath as I screamed out loud and I could hear my father hollering as he reached over and grabbed hold of me. The fury of the moment swept me up and carried me to places I never knew existed. My mind was a surge of electricity, swirling me back through time and straight ahead into the amazement of the moment.
It was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever been involved in, and although it scared the crap out of me, it lifted my spirit to a new height that I didn’t come down from for a day or two.
As the water slowly subsided away from us, I heard my father laughing out loud. He held me close as the crashing wave moved back away from us, and I almost thought I could hear the sea laughing at us, as if it had been toying with our emotions. Well, if it had been, it did a fairly good job at it.
My father looked me over to make sure I was ok, and when I looked up and saw him smiling, I started to laugh, because I knew everything was alright.
As the water subsided down the huge rock faces and back into the sea, we quickly got up and headed back to safer grounds. With my soggy sneakers, drenched shorts, soaked shirt and water logged mind, I couldn’t get the experience out of my head the whole night. I don’t think my eyes closed until the next night.
I had always loved to climb and bounce along a rugged coast line, and after this incident, I loved it even more. It was as if I was darting in and out of the rocks, nearing the water, then darting quickly away as though I was daring the ocean to give me her best again. I had seen, felt and tasted the enormous strength that mother nature can unleash upon us at any time, and there’s no feeling in the world quite like it.
I’ve always loved the ocean. I’ve gained so much perspective from just sitting and listening to what it has to say. The view is incredible, the tales that it tells are unforgettable, the experience is incomparable in so many ways, and wherever I go, I can always feel a piece of it rolling up onto shore, right in front of me.
Do you like the sea? Do you have an amazing tale of your own about the sea? Can you sometimes smell the salt in the air, no matter where you go or where you are?
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Have a great Fourth and I’ll catch up to ya later.