19 April 2018
A few weeks ago I had a couple of hours to spare before heading off to my next appointment.
It was an overcast day with some light rain and a breeze in the air—actually, to be honest, at times there were some fairly strong wind gusts around. The sky was bright in parts despite the rain in the air and, so, I headed for one of my favourite of all places.
A place where I can sit and admire the raw, uncontrollable power that I can see in front of me. A place where I can enjoy the relative peace and tranquillity—interspersed, of course, by the fairly frequent crashing of torrents of water hitting the shoreline. A place that is awe-inspiring and, at some times, frightening in the intensity of the power of nature…
Where better to sit and be amazed than somewhere to watch the magnificent sea?
I chose a place just up from a main beach—perhaps some 50-75 metres higher than the beach itself—lending itself to a panoramic view of the wonderful, curved bay in front of me; the golden looking sand visible along a some 2-3km stretch.
Enjoying the beauty, I watched the waves form far out at sea and roll towards the shore—until their crests just had to crash into a myriad of areas of bubbling white foam; the frequency of the breakers persistent as the wind repeatedly whipped up the swells in the open seas; the constant flux of the current and counter currents making the sea look like a huge, gigantic living being….
Watching the sea, feeling the fresh, cool wind against my face. Tasting the salt in the air. Seeing people enjoying themselves. Lovers walking hand in hand. Children playing in the sand. People walking dogs.
Surfers struggle against the power of the sea as the water moved them with impunity—forwards, sideways, wherever the water wanted; men almost insignificant in the marvellous landscape of the ocean. Some other surfers struggled endlessly to find that wave—and when they did they were at the whim of the ocean whether to let them ride it, or knock them down as it would any other minor irritant to its majesty.
I watched the seagulls in flocks whirl and wheel as they caught the air thermals above the moving mass of ocean; the rushing air forever keeping the birds moving, higher…, lower…, soaring…., diving…. Now and then a number of gulls would land and strut along the grassy banked areas or cliff top set above the sea; forever looking, watching; seeking food, alert to any danger; most of the birds being prize specimens with perfectly formed white chests and light grey wings; some uninhibited and brave enough to forage close to humans, others flighty as soon as people approached.
And when I finally tore myself away from the spectacles in front of me, my awe stayed with me for the next few hours. The sea had inspired me, motivated me—and made me appreciate (again) how insignificant we all really are when compared to nature…
Yet, at the same time, how significant our place in the world is, and how wonderful it is to be alive…