Monday, February 22, 2010

Life on the (ocean’s) edge…..

It’s the place I feel most at home. For me, growing up in Southern California, it was my only link to nature. 

The city pretty much stopped at the sand.

I spent hours on the beach or sitting on the jetty staring out at the water. It seemed to me to be about freedom, adventure, possibility, hope…..the great wide open & the great unknown. Because whole worlds lie beneath the water’s surface & across its great expanse.

I remember learning in school that border ecosystems are the richest & most diverse. I think that’s part of it too.

Not only the change from the developed human world to nature, but also from land to sea. 

Completely different creatures living in completely different environments in such close proximity.


I’ve also read that geological formations closer to the coast are newer, & therefore more rugged than the ones further inland, which have had more time to erode, softening their features.

All of this seems to me to work as a metaphor for the human condition.

I feel that I’m on the edge of the human world when I’m on the water’s edge. 


I’m a speck lost in all this amazing vastness that I can’t even begin to comprehend (much less control in any way). 

I know that the birds foraging for food next to me are much more together & authentic than I’ll ever be, & somehow that makes all my human problems seem pointless & very small.

I leave renewed, refreshed, & energized. With hope & newly determined to be a freer & happier human.  

So I can’t blame these people for their tenacity to fight off the elements in order to stake their claim on the edge. It’s where we all want to be isn’t it?

Their struggle sums up our human condition for me. Sure we want to be comfortable, but we want to be part of nature too.