By the Sea, by the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea
I’m just back from a week visiting my mother who lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, part of the Delmarva peninsula. She lives half-an-hour from the Atlantic oceans beaches. The farm where she lives was my grandparents and the place we spent our summers. We also camped along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean on Assateague Island and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. One of my dream vacations is to visit all the National Seashores. The other is to stay in-season on a hotel with a pool on the boardwalk of Ocean City, like the Comfort Inn but maybe something with a bigger pool.
The beach is a wonderful place. The sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, the smell of salt water in the air, the heat of the sun, and, in the summer, the sounds of people talking and laughing. It’s an incredibly magical place. Sometimes you can see a school of dolphins swimming on the horizons while gulls fly overhead. Further out, larger birds such as osprey and brown pelicans fly and hunt in and out of the waves. It’s peace and mystery.
We saw an ocean kayaker suit himself up to go out onto the water. First he zipped himself into his kayak, and then he waited on the sand until the tiniest wave went underneath his kayak. Using his fingers, hands, and arms, he inched his way further into the water. When the waves receded, he waited until another came. Again, using his fingers, hands, and arms, he moved a few more inches into the water. Again and again, the waves ebbed and flowed as he inched his way further away from land and into the water. Finally he was afloat with not a lot of water. Then he was able to use his oar and move more quickly and gracefully into the water until he got beyond the breakers.
While on the beach, read a bunch of books. One of them was Sea Magic by Sandra Kynes. It is full of wisdom and power. She provides facts and information about the oceans and seas, the currents, the inhabitants, the myths, and the stories. There is a lot about shell magic and using shells and ocean waters in devotions, oracular work, and magic. It’s very well-written with an inviting style–you want to keep reading. In some ways she’s captured that magical rhythm of the waves in the cadence of her writing. It’s a strong book, well written and researched.