By the ocean
is where I want to be,
dunes and ocean breeze,
The cry of
gull and bark of seal,
Where I can
return where the ocean pounds,
For I can’t
It had been
so long since Caleb left. He remembered
driving through the woods, watching the mountains slip away in his rear mirror until
he was on flat land in a farming paradise.
The scenery was almost the same in every direction. There were no nearby mountains. There were a few trees and houses, just the
way he liked it. At least that’s what he thought at the time.
changed drastically. He endured several years of freezing cold and ice storms. He also endured springs and summers of
torrential downpours, floods, tornados, and sticky humidity. The weather was not a factor in his decision
to stay or go. Not yet.
The flatland was good for farming and it did
not wrap its tentacles around him like the sea did. The sounds and smells of the sea grabbed him
when he was young and made an impression. The rhythmic waves gently rocked him
to sleep. The beach and ocean became his playground. Later it was his mistress. And in the back of
his mind he knew that someday it would be his grave. The sea would wait patiently through his complete
life cycle, from birth to death, expecting him to eventually return to the only
home he really understood.
As the years
dragged by, he grew increasingly lonely but he understood his need. The thing
missing in his life was a good woman, one who would pull him to her bosom and
give him a sense of security. The women who
lived by the sea and those on flatland were so different. Those by the coast
loved quicker, more fervently, because they understood their men would be
called by the sea and could get lost at sea.
Flatlanders usually chose farmers, men who would stay put, men who would
be content raising wheat, corn, and kids.
to the slower and richer style of loving and eventually he found a woman whose
heart was tender and made him feel loved.
They watched sunsets and dawns, made love passionately, and communicated
endlessly. Life was perfect and the world
rotated every day.
But one day his world stopped cold. A blizzard
hit while he was in town getting supplies. He struggled homeward but did not arrive until
early afternoon the next day. She didn’t
come out to greet him, and the house was cold.
frantically but to no avail. Friends joined in the search. She was found lying near the barn, her arms
wrapped around a frozen calf. Guilt
overwhelmed him. “That was my job,” he
thought, “getting all the animals inside.”
That thought tormented him more and more. As he withdrew into his shell his friends
stopped visiting. They wondered why he
was becoming inaccessible. He thought
they blamed him for his wife’s death.
The things he
liked about the sea were coming back to haunt him. Every night he could hear the relentless pounding
of the waves, see the pelicans dipping low as they flew between the swells. And that salty smell was there in his
room. The sea was calling him, urging
him to climb aboard a fishing boat and sail out of the harbor, away from the
safety of the shore.
I go?” he asked himself. The question remained, unanswered, frozen in the cold
air. But Immediately another question
rose.”Why should I stay?”
mind was made and he prepared to rid himself of the farm and its memories. He
sold what he could and gave away the rest.
There was nothing left for him there in the flatlands. Whenever he saw fields of wheat dancing with
the wind, he was reminded of ocean swells.
Whenever he saw a sunset or dawn, he wished he could see the sun hanging
just over the horizon with a ship sailing somewhere.
The sea was his mistress again and each day she
was calling, calling him back to where he belonged, back to her open arms. There were new adventures waiting, new
adventures that would help him forget the flatlands and teach him that love once
lost can sometimes be found again. His
will to live had suffered a blow. Now he
was willing to dare, to face danger, to love recklessly. Tomorrow he would set sail and he didn’t care
- So What If Oceans Are Dying? (fragmentsfromfloyd.com)
- Ocean life facing extinction, scientists warn (ctv.ca)
- Oceans in grave danger, scientists report (macleans.ca)
- Requiem for the sea: State of the Seas report concludes “negative changes” to the oceans exceed IPCCs worst case scenarios. (newanthropocene.wordpress.com)
- You: ‘Shocking’ state of seas threatens mass extinction, say marine experts (guardian.co.uk)