I’m becoming more and more convinced that the longer I spend in close association with the ocean, the more I need its comfort. I haven’t surfed in about a week, and the couple of weeks before this one I was only able to surf a few tantalizing times. Sweet, but not filling.
I’ve constantly chided myself for having priorities that take me away from the calm and consciousness of the sea. Throughout my time in I.V., the ocean’s presence mere yards (and a cliff face) away has been a constant that I’ve been able to turn to when all else is havoc. Stress factors run rampant in the university setting, especially when one tries to have a personal life and a budding professional one as well.
The ocean is an life force responsible for a lot of what is good in the world. I believe in it and in a strange way I also almost worship it. It’s hard to completely explain the swelling of spirit that a simple float in a chilly sea will give you. The force of the ocean emphasizes the inevitability of life, that humanity’s mark on the cosmic timeline is a miniscule blip – fragile, nondescript and apt to fade from existence as naturally and easily as a tide pulling a piece of driftwood from shore. For some reason I find that comforting – it makes me feel like a part of the grand scheme of the world, not like someone embedded in a frantic society that can’t get its wits about it.
The wonders of the sea are vivid and incredible. I never grow tired of being in and around great tidal bodies, nor could I exhaust my appreciation for the ocean’s marvels and quirks. I have pledged to myself to never underestimate the power of the ocean. For those of you who’ve been following my column, that was another Surfer’s Code reference (Read it! It’s by Shaun Thompson.).
We all know the statistic that more is known about outer space than about the depths of Earth’s oceans. It’s almost like an alternate reality, full of massive volcanoes, giant trenches, and eight-legged magicians possessing the ability to wrestle sharks and shoot ink. The anglerfish, for example, strikes me as a particularly vivid representation of the wonders of the sea and its citizens; it has a fleshy growth protruding from its forehead that functions as a lure. Some deep-sea anglerfish even produce an eerie light from their lure – you’ve probably already seen a demonic representation of this same fish in Finding Nemo.
Last Saturday, I had arrived home from a chaotic day with the light fading. Rather than attempting to enjoy a crazy I.V. party that night, a good friend and I loaded up with frozen squid, raw chicken, fishing poles, and all the necessary late-night fishing accoutrement. The pier was a happy reality. Couples strolled down the planked walkway to enjoy the ocean’s aura, scuba divers popped up out of the dark water below with loud exhalations and chatted to each other about the crabs they had seen on the bottom. Life was simple. I didn’t get to surf this week, but at least I have that experience fresh in my mind.
As much as I might gain from keeping my insight about the wonders of the ocean to myself, I’m more passionate about ending the misery of those who have spent the majority of their existence landlocked or unappreciative of the sea. It’s right there, and it’s good for you.