Ocean Appreciation Essay
I enjoy staring at the ocean from different perspectives while absorbing its beauty and power. It clears my mind but also helps me think more clearly.
The ocean is spectacular and amazing.
It has a unique, dynamic relationship with everything.
The ocean gives another dimension to life on earth.
It has a symbiotic relationship and dances with both the sun and moon.
It reflects the moon.
It allows the moon to control its levels.
It absorbs the sun.
It works with the sun to support all life underwater.
It has an ability to heal itself: When polluters toss man-made plastic, the ocean buoys the garbage and regurgitates it like a sour meal.
Rebuffing, self-cleaning and returning deposits of trash are a vivid reminder to those who pay attention: The return of human-owned and created pollution to be littered across our beloved beaches all over the world.
Your pollution in America may end up on my beach in Thailand. Or the opposite.
Ironically, we pollute with the very same artificial representation, the vessels containing our collective over-indulgence: plastic containers that previously held an unnecessary products for our consumption based on our desire rather than, our need.
Billions of these plastic bottles contain the most abundant resource in the world: water.
Yet, we bottle it. Commoditize it and sell it.
We consume and then discard these plastic vessels like we would with a million pounds of Sargasso that stinks up our beaches in the Caribbean.
Ironically and unfortunately, Sargasso was created by the mixture of increasingly warm water and farming fertilizer run off into the sea from agriculturalists on land.
Pollution. Waste. Garbage. Tossed in the sea and returned to land, on a place of uncommon beauty that we supposedly cherish — the beach.
A purgatorial line of demarcation between sea-life and land-life.
A place we adore and play or recline while worshipping the sun
A place we go to relax and be hypnotized by the rhythmic sounds of the waves.
She chants hmmm. Shhhh. Hmmmm. Shhhh. hmmm. Shhh or crassshhh. Hmmm. Crassshhhh. Hmmm depending on where you are.
We internalize the sound. It takes us to a peaceful place: Womb-like. Secure. Tranquil.
It is easy to avoid the giver of the lovely ambient sound. Lay down on the beach. Bake in the sun. Apply more sunscreen. Enjoy.
Try to ignore others talking.
But they keep talking…And, somehow, music is playing? Really? More noise? Why?
Can there be no sweeter sounds than that of waves crashing ashore?
Time to find an escape.
We look to the sea. It beckons. We are called.
As a people who have programmatically learned from commercial culture to fear, we cautiously approach the ocean as if it is filled with hungry, caged lions. We visualize the circling sharks waiting for some juicy flesh.
But our flesh is not juicy. Just the opposite.
Sharks who are dumb enough to bite, quickly spit us out, like the ocean rejecting plastic.
A toe-touching tiny dip to alert the senses, a foot submerged and then the inevitable retreat by running back to dry land just one step ahead of the encroaching waters.
Back to Safety?
Wait/Listen: Music. Chatter. Banality. Humanity.
Better options? Return to The Sanctuary.
Our confidence is growing. We are gently wading further in the water. Our fingers use their inherent knowledge and sense to explore the temperature of the surface. Now, getting just a little deeper. Our knees and thighs are wet.
Wait. Wait longer. Here goes. Oh boy, our nuts are in.
Now the next wave is approaching.
Stand firm and turn your back to it or dive under it.
Always dive under: It diverts our focus from our soon-to-be submerged, wet and sensitive nipples.
Underwater now. Acceptable temperature for most places. Okay. This works, we think to ourselves.
Me? I am with and at the same depth as you. But I am in Thailand, not worried about the cold but asking myself if it is too warm.
Turnover. Watch the wave pass above.
Feel the undertow pulling you. Stay low, let it pass. Hold your breath.
Embrace the moment.
We are one. Everything is connected, our subconscious mind intuits. Descend again by bending our knees, our body seems to instruct.
Lay backward. Look up. Face the surface while still underwater. Exhale through our nose. Yes. Our nose. We are One.
Watch the white water of the wave pass and merge with our rising breath bubbles. This is almost second nature after so many years.
Surface. Exhale from our mouth now. Face out. Look for the next wave approaching.
All clear. Inhale now. Look at waves coming. Treadmill or scissors kick?
Nope: Eggbeater-style for me, memories of playing water polo bring a smile to my face.
Try to determine a pattern in the waves. We look for something but not exactly sure what.
Like a perfect life partner, when you know, you just, somehow, know.
Hold on. Not yet.
Next one. Wait. Next one?
They keep coming.
See it! Time it. Ride it!
We undulate aggressively with our lower body while acting like a dolphin.
Arms straight. Hold our breath.
Hoping to catch it. Undulate harder.
Yes! Got it. Ride it!
Catch the second break from the same wave if possible. Kick more. Harder.
Our lungs disagree. Fuck’em. This is FUN!
We ride the remnants of the wave as far as possible. Never giving up on it or the moment. It’s getting shallow now. The shore is now quickly approaching. Our nipples again may be in danger.
Arms still pointed forward. Palms dig in the sand to stop momentum.
Our head naturally rises to see people sitting on the beach. They are chattering away. Gossiping about other people instead of discussing ideas.
Again, we think: Why not? Turn around. Swim back. Find that place of equanimity.
At sea. Alone. Together. Dancing with waves. Yesss!
Body surfing requires and teaches so many things.
A cooperative spirit is one of them. The sea giving waves of energy to propel us into elation. We must temper our organic, hubristic, conquering, nature, and respect her unfathomable power to, literally, ride the wave.
One is compelled to ask: How has human engineering not harnessed that efficiently to power everything?
Yet, yet. Yet. She allows us to play in the embrace of her enormous strength.
Earth/Ocean: Giving. Always giving. Unconditionally. In perpetuity. They are a gift to us all.
We are blessed with the opportunity to experience and enjoy them. When we are truly alive, in that moment, We Are ONE.
No waves here in Thailand today, so I swam, reflected, and wrote this tribute today instead…With love.