Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Inspired by the Ocean

I grew up nowhere near the ocean. Instead, our family vacationed beside lakes. We camped and fished, boated and read on numerous lakes in British Columbia. Visits to the ocean were rare and the sea was a strange thing.

When Tim and I moved to Ecuador, we spent our vacations at the beach. The incessant rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean bothered me; they were so restless. I missed the peace and quiet of the lake. 

Many years later I read an essay by E.B. White entitled "Once More to the Lake," which eloquently expresses much of the difference between oceans and lakes. But, I digress.

Our trips to the beach in Ecuador, combined with moving to an island, instilled in me a love of the ocean. What I once perceived as restlessness I now see as soothing motion, unending and reliable. Walks on the beach reflect what my mood may require - solace, adventure, exhilaration, or solitude. 

Inspired by the ocean waves, I stitched up this table runner. Some of the pieces are from an old shirt of Tim's (well, not very old, but one of those tea-towel shirts he doesn't like wearing), a damask napkin from the thrift store, and others from my stash. The runner sits now on my dining room table and reminds me of the ocean; its motion and changing colours.

What is your experience with lakes and oceans? Do you prefer one over the other? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Oh how I love the ocean! We moved to Florida to be near the ocean and I cherish every moment spent there. I love your runner and would love to try to make one. Did you use a pattern or just cut pieces to come together? You are so talented!

  2. I grew up spending my summers on an island on the Atlantic coast, but always swam in the Bras d'or Lakes, which are salt water. As an adult I lived on Lake Ontario, and learned to enjoy the many fresh water lakes of southern Ontario. The ocean, and salt water are, however, in my blood. I like to live within minutes of the ocean - Pacific or Atlantic, they both fill a place in my heart.
    Your runner is lovely!

  3. The runner is just lovely Lorrie. I enjoy lakes, but I LOVE the ocean. When I am out of sorts and can't come to peace and stability I head for the beach. It speaks to me without words and I am settled and refreshed and filled with what I need to carry on.

  4. So creative, Lorrie! Ahhh, the mere mention of E.B. The last paragraph of that essay gets to me every time.

    I am only thirty miles from the ocean and I do love getting going a few times a year, but the lakes call to me and I would far rather swim in a lake any day than in the ocean.

  5. Funny...that I had never thought about which I prefer...and even now can't make up my mind. I love the ocean...but also the peaceful lakes. A glacial fed lake on a mountain hike is a thing of beauty. And there's nothing quite like waves lapping on the ocean shore. I vote for both! And for your lovely table runner!

  6. I'm with Vee, I don't swim well in an ocean but love lake swimming. But I sure can nap alongside an ocean, love the soothing sound of waves. But lakes win my vote, partly because of more shade, less saltiness and in the mountains near us!

    That is a very sweet table runner! Creative!

  7. I am an ocean person as I grew up and now live just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. The sound of the waves coming to shore are very soothing to me. It is almost like listening to a heartbeat.

    Your table runner is beautiful, Lorrie! I love all the blues in it.

  8. Water is always good, whether lakes, the sea or a flowing river. I think the sea is probably my favourite, but I have never lived by it. If I had the choice, I'd move to the coast. I love the ebb and flow, the wide vistas, the sound, the romance of it all. By the sea you can dream of far away worlds you will probably never see.

  9. I'm a person who likes to know where the edges are, who is far more comfortable in defined spaces. I can sit on the side of Salt Spring Island that faces the mainland and be fine but when I sit on the other side staring out into the vast unknown, it's disconcerting. It was interesting learning about myself.

  10. I love going to the ocean with my family. And we like brining home little treasures such a sea shell or some sea glass pieces.
    I like the picture of the ocean in this post; so calm and peaceful. And the ocean inspired table runner is simply gorgeous!

  11. I grew up in Vancouver and my dad took us to our almost private beach at the jetty on the Fraser River every summer. We bop across the logs from the tugboat to the beach. My poor mother!
    The ocean holds more interest for me. It changes daily and offers great beach combing prizes!

    LOVE your new table runner!

  12. I think it the most lovely thing to sleep in a room, or even in a campground, where the waves can be heard pounding on the rocks or breaking more quietly on the beach all night long. Walking down a long beach barefoot is also nice, whatever the weather. Recently I also had the pleasure of swimming in the ocean - the warmer waters of Hawaii - and that has greatly expanded my appreciation!

  13. Very creative! I like both he ocean and the lake ... I do like the sound of the waves ... rather soothing... but there is something about a beautiful lake looking like glass in the early morning.


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