I’m not a “lay out on the beach until you are fried like KFC” kind of person. I’m a Tennessee girl, and given a choice, most of the time, I will chose the mountains.
Until I don’t.
I am drawn to the ocean for so many reasons–too many to name in one post–but let me start with the first thought that comes to mind. Have you ever thought about how brave those first explorers were? They set out into the vast sea fully expecting to come to a place where it dropped off the earth. Dropped into what, no one could say. But they had more curiosity than sense, so off they went. Imagine their surprise when they kept sailing and sailing and bumped into a continent that no one knew was there. A whole continent!
Now, don’t bog me down in the details. I know that the ancient Greeks had already figured out that the earth was round, and at least the captains of the ships knew they weren’t going to fall off the edge. I know that a lot of the early explorers thought they were going to run into Asia if they sailed far enough west, thus the name “West Indies.” But the rank and file didn’t know that, did they? If you were a 10- or 12- or 17- year old boy going to sea for the first time, wouldn’t you be a little afraid of what would happen when you got to the end? I would.
All this is to say that when I look out at the ocean, I know that it is so big that it must be full of more wonders than I can possibly imagine. It must have so many secrets and mysteries that I will never even think to ask about them. While I was walking on the beach today, a pod of dolphins passed by at a very leisurely pace. They were on the surface of a place that is teeming with life that I will never know, will never even see in a National Geographic documentary. I love it, I am drawn to it, and it scares the bejeezus out of me.
When I see the distant horizon, I understand the meaning of infinity. I think everyone should do that every now and then, just to make sure you keep perspective on your place in the world. We are important, yes, but not all-powerful. The ocean has that market cornered.