Ocean Waves as Symbols

August 5, 2014

Pacifc waves at Rialto Beach, Washington

Pacific waves at Rialto Beach, Washington

“In the winter of life, the sea lulls and comforts.  It has the look and sound of eternity without putting one through the troublesome formality of having to die first.”

I like what Jonathan Raban says about ocean waves in his essay “Waves” from Driving Home.  He is talking about the Oregon coast, but the wild Rialto Beach on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is similar:

“The line of breakers on the beach is a fantastic dissipation of long-accumulated power.  It is the fall of kings.”

” . . . the crest of each wave poised for its downfall, is a universal symbol because it unites the extremities of human experience in a single continuous line.”

“Nowhere do waves break with more reliable splendor than on the melancholy coast of Oregon, where the great Pacific wave trains come to a spectacular end on beaches of pulverized green sand.”