We have learned the ocean is not just for summer days. We have learned to soak up its beauty without getting soaking wet.
The tide was high this morning. Coming nearly to the steps. So it doesn’t squish, like usual, up between our toes. It gives, but only a little. Walking along. Stopping periodically to empty the small piles of sand from our shearling-lined boots. We don’t spend so much time in the sand as on it. Traveling over the top.
It’s quiet. Both of us busy. Never too far from one another. Winter at the sea is for collecting.
Soaking in the sounds of the waves as they steadily, steadily, swoosh along the beach. Quieter today. Gentler than yesterday. They swoosh instead of crash. Nevertheless they are relentless.
I am reminded yet again of the enduring metaphor of the sea.
The change—constant. Sometimes generous as we can attest today with our pockets full of smooth sea glass. Other times taking so much. Sometimes gentle. Sometimes fierce. But always, always there.
And I think, as I often do these days of how I will live without this daily injection of metaphor. The tonic effect it often has on my heart.
What will I do without the sand? Even when we aren’t at the sea itself it is constantly there. In bags and shoes and little piles in the corners and building up in my dryer vent.
I will miss the sand. The everywhereness of it. The pervading annoyance and comfort of sand.
What will I do without the sea? The quick-rusting of any toy or tool with the merest hint of metal. The filthy grimy windows even after Caid’s just cleaned them. The salty smell on the breeze. The swooshing background wave song that has become a constant part of our Australian soundtrack.
The constant thereness of the sea.
In May I was laying on Mom’s bed in Colorado. Chatting about this and that the day before we were returning home to Australia. She asked me if I was a Mountain Girl or a Sea Girl. Told me about a sermon she’d heard about it once.
There are mountains where I am going. We will get reacquainted. I know I’ll love them again. I used to long for them when we lived in England.
I have learned the answer to Mom’s question though. One I hadn’t known until I lived here.