There are dozens of things I should be doing right now...editing a client's book, editing two of my own books, finishing off half a dozen other books...and that's only the stuff that feeds my mind and pocket! Apart from those things, which I'd prefer to do, there's all the other things I must do - housework, shopping, paying bills, calling a plumber for my broken-down dishwasher and jambed bathroom taps, clearing the garden, taking my daughter to a few places she needs to go today (her own transport having died last night). But what I'm thinking about is the sea.
There's something about the sea. Something that draws me. Something that excites me. Something that calms me. Something that makes me think.
Is it just the expanse, how the water goes right on up to the horizon and touches the sky?
Or is it that it can't be tamed, that it will come in and go out regardless of our being there?
Or is it something more primordial, like that it is in our blood from before we walked on the land?
I think it's all of those things.
In the same way looking at the sky at night, imagining the distance to the nearest stars, puts you in your place, makes you realise the world and universe doesn't revolve around you and your problems, nor even the around the problems of mankind, the vastness of the water allows the nitty-gritties of everyday to shrink into obscurity...it's a place to put everything into perspective.
I love the idea that the large expanses of water all over the planet, the oceans, that are living parts of our planet, that reach out to the moon, and that whip up into foam-spilling peaks and troughs with the wind, yet also lay so calm and peaceful when the air sleeps...I love the idea that we have nothing to do with that. We don't control the sea. The sea doesn't control us. We live side by side it, in general giving it the respect it asks for...that is, apart from our polluting it with oil, bags and other debris, which we all know kills the life within it. Yet it doesn't stop the sea itself. The sea lives with or without the living organisms in it. It will still blow up in a storm, or becalm ships, even with a load of garbage in it.
Though knowing life, not rubbish, lays within those waves will always make the oceans the best two thirds of our planet!
And what about the sea being a call to our embryonic beginnings? I don't know, but swimming in the sea is definately a whole different feeling from swimming in a pool. The salt in the water and the air, that combination of minerals that feels so good to us, is in our blood.
Sea water often heals wounds better than any antiseptic, and those who feel in need of recuperation or healing find being by the water beneficial. Many people often move to coastal towns when they retire...what better place to take an afternoon walk than by the water's edge!
But more than that...swimming in the sea, diving into the waters, just feels darn good. It feels right. Yes, sometimes our climate encourages us to other, warmer, countries to partake of those waters in comfort, but the number of holidays to seaside resorts at home and abroad testify to our craving for the sea.
But one doesn't even have to be in the water to soak up the pleasure of it. Looking at it, smelling it, breathing it deep into our lungs...the sea is part of us, and we're part of the sea.
I don't know if being born on an island gives the sea more significance, or whether this attraction is universal no matter where you live, but I have dreamed of living by the sea, have a yen for it, imagine myself grow old beside it...and one day I hope to make that dream come true.
These are some photos from the summer I came across this morning...a wonderful evening with some of my children and their friends. Set me thinking...