Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Voice of the Ocean

Recently I visited Cape Lookout State Park on the Oregon coast:  a large peninsula which juts out into the Pacific. Standing at the entrance to the Cape I had a view of the ocean to either side, both to the north and to the south. On the north side lies a spectecular steep-sided bay which almost, but not quite, cuts the end of the Cape into an island. Being in such a place made me feel that I was standing at the edge of the world, and what lay beyond was all unknown and still to be discovered.

Now let's imagine that this landscape is a landscape made of time - which in some real sense, it is. Let's say that the coast lying to the south is the past, and the coast to the north is the future, and where I was standing on the peninsula is the present moment. This is the familiar landscape of time in which we all stand, with the past flowing through the present moment towards the unknown future. But there is another 'time' beyond this: the 'time' of the great ocean itself. To the ocean this 'past-present-future' time is meaningless. The ocean is eternal.

In that magical place that I had stood, the world around me seemed to offer me a lesson: a reminder of the eternal - and oh, how easy it is to think of the ocean in such a way! The unhurried waves role onto the wide beach, and the waves are themselves just the surface signs of the currents and undertows which flow unseen beneath. And even though the depths of that ocean remained hidden to me, the moving waves hinted at what might be happening below its surface: migrating whales on their long journey down to the southern feeding grounds (Earlier in the week I saw them spouting offshore!) and other creatures of that watery world that live out their lives in the silence of those blue depths.

Now overhead a bright harvest moon is shining, big and pale gold, the colour of ripe grain - just the way a harvest moon should look! The seasons turn, the waves which I hear from my window as I type this roll in to the wide sandy beach, as they have done for a thousand years and more, and these reflections on my visit to the Cape can be harvested. Unseen below the surface, the great whales slowly onward under the moon. In my imagination I can hear their songs echoing from the depths like the great voice of the ocean itself, and I feel that, simply because I am thinking about them, a small part of me is journeying with them through that deep blue eternity.






6 comments:

  1. the lessons of the ocean are eternal and vast beyond comprehension. We soak in her wisdom and allow who we are to be suspended in time till all we hear, smell or sea is the vastness before us. Thank you for this dear Emma.

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    1. You are so welcome, Joss.. and yes, the lessons of the ocean are eternal as she is herself. ♥

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  2. Emma I just absolutely love your story being told here. You have done a spectacular job of expressing the intangible grip of time and how time comes to us, through us, and with us. Beautiful Emma, simply beautiful. Deborah Wright 9.17.16 Neskowin, Oregon

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Deborah.. now while writing about time, time itself ceased to exist as I stood there at the edge of the world. In that moment I sensed a glimpse of eternity. ♥♥♥

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  3. That is so beautiful.... you took me from here to there... and right back into your space....

    and I adore the thought of the expression.. "unhurried waves" .. how beautiful this song, and its depths unknown..

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  4. Ah.. thank you so much, dear Destiny... since I am here I have been gathering stories and songs in my basket .. all I have to do is pay attention and listen to the murmurs of the ocean.. ♥

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