There is a timelessness about the sea. Watching the waves crash and foam, murmuring against all rocks, licking at sand, grasping always, I know this is where I came from and where I must go.
The seabirds, still, leggy, baring on black wet, algaed rock are motionless against the sea. Entranced, enamored, in awe of the giant crashing and moaning before them. There is no severance from the great salty pool. I envy the seabirds who rely on the waves for their sustenance. Who do nothing but wait when the tides come in, who feed on a feast when the tides are not at home. There is no pulling away from them - they never leave the belly for want of warmth, or obligation. They are never pulled by any to go home - to electricity, to a buzz, to motors roaring and moaning. They sit silently, faces confront the spray and silt and sky, letting the roar of waves be their lullaby.
A mist hangs now, over the rock. A single light illumines the grey horizon. The sky is softly falling, winter light gentle in its iciness. The waves rough - their spray hoists forward and leaps, as if in wild dance and orgy.
I would listen to the sea in the shells we brought home, and the giant shells my mother collected before I was born. I would hold one to my ear, its conical spikes jutting into the flesh of my palm. There an echo took me to another place, flew me out of the carpet on which I sat, took me out of the living room, my house, our street, East Brunswick, city lights, the Turnpike. It took me to a place of everywhere and no time, a place we always knew existed, a place we so easily forget.
We need to go out more, to the wildlands for our sanity. We only do when I insist, when I'm about to snap. I enjoy my work, I am happy I have accomplished so much, but these are the times I remember.
stone lagoon, northern california coast
© 1990 - 2003 Katharina Woodworth