Sea-born Treasures

August 3, 2009

Sand dollar hidden in beach sand

Sand dollar hidden in beach sand

Sand dollar and stones on the beach

Sand dollar and stones on the beach

The riches of sea-born treasures

The riches of sea-born treasures

“I wiped away the weeds and foam,
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore
With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar.
     — Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Each and All”

Longing for the Sea

August 2, 2009

The Pacific coast near Kalaloch, WA

The Pacific coast near Kalaloch, WA

I grew up in the Midwest, and I didn’t see the ocean until I was almost 20 years old.  I feel a sense of kinship with those poets who understand the pull of the sea.  I especially yearn for the ocean during summer time.

“Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.”
     — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Secret of the Sea”

Surf on a gray day at Westport

Surf on a gray day at Westport

Sea Fever
by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Coast at Cape Flattery, the northwest edge of the continental U. S.

Coast at Cape Flattery, the northwest edge of the continental U. S.

“To be near water I find essential: it is the edge, the place of escape.  It’s also a great unifier, a reminder of what the world is made of.  It is the place of no artificial boundaries, no gates or fences or official border crossings set up as they are on land. . . The ocean is a path to elsewhere, and thus an emblem of hope.”
     — Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Not Now Voyager