Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why I Like the Ocean

We were a lake family when I was a child. Vacations were spent camping or fishing near one of the many, many lakes in the British Columbia interior. Visits to the ocean were rare occasions and the sea was a strange, restless unknown.

Our first beach vacation was in 1982, in Ecuador. I was entranced by the miles and miles of sandy beaches and the warm water - water I could actually swim in. As our family grew, yearly or twice yearly trips to the beach became the norm. I enjoy swimming more than Tim does and he would watch the children play in the shallow water or in the sand while I swam further out. I spent long periods of time floating on my back or gently treading water beyond the breakers. Tim kept a careful eye out, sometimes worried about the length of time I spent out there. I loved the solitude. I saw my beloved family on the shore, but I was distant, observing them, not participating in their activities. There, under the brassy blue sky, enveloped in salty brine, lulled by the motion of the waves, I thought, pondered and prayed. Then, tired physically and rested mentally, I swam into shore and joined in splashing games and building sand castles.

As my acquaintance with the sea grew, so did my attraction to it. Here, I find, life's complexities are made simple. I gain a sense of perspective at the beach. Water, rocks, sand, sky. I am awed at a God who created so much beauty. The immensity of it dwarfs my thoughts. The waves rush in, then fall back, and as they do, little pieces of my worries are dragged away with them to be lost in the vast sea. I am emptied. I am filled instead with beauty that seeps deep into my soul, restoring, healing. God shows his love to me in the solace provided by his creation.

Going to the beach is somewhat paradoxical. There is the simplicity of waves and clouds. But there is also intricate complexity and diversity. Tidal pools with sea anemones, mussels clusters, sea kelp trailing long, scurrying crabs, empty shells. It's all there for the looking. The delicate tracery of sea kelp swaying in the current and the fine prints of sea birds in the sand comfort me with order. Life sometimes seems chaotic, random. Observing the details of life along the ocean reassures me that I live in an ordered world, that chaos is of man's making, not God's. And so I turn away from the sea and return to my daily routines, refreshed and restored. The problems do not go away but I find myself better able to deal with them. And I know that the ocean is there waiting for me again.


  1. Yes. Every time things get truly troublesome, I must get to the sea again. Lorrie, glad you want to be on my blogroll because you have been for a long time! I did become a follower today, though. :D

  2. How did you find the beach so empty of hustle and bustle, sunbathers, children laying noisy games and adults playing music?

    You have a paradise there, no wonder your soul finds respite.

    I love the sea, but live in the hills. Silly me.

  3. I also love going to the sea here in Belgium! And I do love to go in wintertime!!
    Thank you Lorrie for stopping by and leaving me this nice comment!

  4. Lovely photos Lorrie!
    I'm not used to ocean having grown up in Southern Ontario. We lived 5min from beautiful lake Erie. I found it sad to leave. But i am loving the ocean and my husband missed the smell of the sea. He grew up Salmon fishing in it with his family.
    The ocean i find is extremely comforting and i can see why people want to live on it.

  5. I love sitting and watching the waves. Hot chocolate on a winter beach - fantastic. I feel closer to God near the sea than anywhere else. xx

  6. I could shout a big ME TOO after this blog, Lorrie. Beautifully written - you put into words many of my feelings about the ocean.
    I had to grin at Friko's comment - our beaches, here on the island, are vast and empty when compared to those in Europe!

  7. Lorrie this is so beautifully written - I could not begin to say what you have yet I agree with every word. I love your local beaches where our family set up camp most summers. Your photos are outstanding!

  8. BEAUTIFUL........ I loved how you caught the expanse. I've been reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From The Sea. Your posting gives me a picture of what she's writing about. Neat, eh?

    So glad for His blessing of the ocean to you!

  9. I could of written these words Lori, I love the ocean and often watched my husband and children on shore building castles....:-)Hugs

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  11. For some reason it removed my first comment?

    I share your enthusiasm of the ocean and it's rejuvenating ability. Have been spending much time in the same setting recently and did the tidepool pictures as well on a recent post... amazing to watch the life and detail of the mussels, starfish, crab and anemones... I even saw a jellyfish washed aground. Such amazing miracles of life and nature.

  12. Lorrie, what a beautifully written commentary. I enjoyed seeing the ocean through your eyes and completely agree with you that taking time to walk on the shores and stare out at the endless sea really does simplify things. Wonderfully said. =)

  13. Beautiful ocean pictures Lorrie and the sea anenomes are very pretty.
    I love swimming in the sea too, so relaxing and away from it all.

  14. Lorrie, you live in an area soooo full of nature, It is quite a blessing and I know you enjoy it to the fullest xoxo Clarice


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