Sunday, June 6, 2010

Finding the way home

I went to the ocean this weekend. It was Rx, rather than R&R. Sometimes, I need the sea to wash me clean.
Moist, salt wind filled my lungs, infused my blood, my brain. Cold water splashed up my legs, saying: Remember. When you are alive and in love with being alive, doubts and burdens drift away with the breeze.
I became light enough to fly wingtip-to-wingtip with a pelican, to dance on the lip of eternity.
But my feet were grounded, toes digging into wet sand and feeling its shift, constant movement, tide in, tide out, the sea's breath.

So much life is happening right here. On these rocks. In this ebb and flow. These two tidal boulders remind me of mammals, of whale or walrus backs.
Would they take me on a journey?
Carry me below and teach me how to breathe again?

Many creatures live here, plant and animal scrunched on rock that gets pounded, submerged, dried out. It's a harsh environment. But it's home.
This chiton is anchored so tight to this rock, I wasn't sure it was alive, at first.
These tiny mollusks, also called sea cradles, have mouths and teeth to eat algae. They have a nervous system resembling a ladder and use a muscular foot, similar to limpets, to hold on. But here's the thing that blows me away. Chitons, although they seem rooted to the rock, can move, and they can find their way home again.
Another lesson from the sea.


Stephanie Thornton said...

That chiton is really neat- I don't think I've ever seen one before.

I love living by the ocean. I've discovered I really need the ocean and mountains to be happy.

Unknown said...

Aww, what a lovely post.
"dance on the lip of eternity"
I love that.

And great pics (as usual).

Jade said...

Now I'm a sad land-locked person! Then I remember that I'm going down the coast in nine days time. Now I'm a marginally less sad landlocked person.

Tabitha Bird said...

Yep, that is why I love the beach.! Great photos. Wish I was there.

Anne Gallagher said...

I used to live on the beach and I miss it so much. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics.

Kelly Lyman said...

I loved this post- beautiful.
I wish I lived by the ocean- it is one of my favorite places to visit. I'm lucky we go every year, but one of these days, I'm determined to live there.

Anonymous said...

Chitons are cool. I love the intertidal zone. Thanks for bringing it to life on your blog!

storyqueen said...

This almost made me cry.

There is something so pure and true in your post.

I am thinking you are on the right path towards finding your way......


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Stephanie: I had to look up the chiton to identify it. I stopped to stare at the thing seemingly crammed in a crevice. I wasn't sure whether it was alive. Now, I'll know the next one when I see it.

Jemi: Yes, that's what I get from nature--renewal. I feel sorry for people who don't get out of cities enough.

Karen: Thank you. It's good to remember we are always on that lip.

Jade: I am often the sad land-locked person. But, yay, that we get our trips to the sea!

Tabitha: It's such a healing environment for me. I wish you were there, too.

Anne: I think sometimes the pull on the tides pulls me, too. I must get there from time to time at least.

Kelly: Thank you. And I so hope you get to live there, as well.

Paul: It infused me so much I had to spill it out. Thank you!

Shelley: It was an emotional journey--both to the sea and in writing this. I was, indeed, letting it flow. Thank you, so much for understanding.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Beautiful said, Tricia. There is something so wistful in this post, quite lovely. My husband and I went kayaking a few days ago and a dolphin was playing in the waves beside me. It was such an amazing experience. The ocean always surprises me with its life lessons.

Unknown said...

My current wip takes place at the ocean.... thanks for the visuals and your musings!

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, makes me want to go scuba diving! Your posts always do that to me :)

Ha! My word verification was undersa... so close to undersea!!!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sherrie: Oh! That sounds wonderful to have the dolphins playing beside you. I've seen them ride surf and it always brings me the greatest sense of joy.

Elle: Hi and your very welcome!

Corey: Undersea: that's where you and me long to be. ;)

PJ Hoover said...

There is just nothing like nature to really give us the time to think about everything. I love that!

Char said...

the ocean is a place of renewal for me too

Suzanne Casamento said...

Beautiful. You had me at "when I was in love with life."

I'd love to feel that magic now.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

PJ: I can totally lose myself in nature, discover new things.

Char: I love it any time of year, any weather, any beach.

Suzanne: Sometimes when the crap builds up, it's hard to remember how devastatingly beautiful life is. Whenever I do experience that again, it's breathtaking.

Lydia Kang said...

Nature is unbelievable sometimes. It's great inspiration for sci-fi too! Thanks for the picts, and that mollusk is cool. I love the ocean.

Lydia Kang said...

I forgot, I can post the answer to your medical question in two weeks, but if you'd like an answer really soon, shoot me an email (MedicalMondays (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll answer you quicker!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Lydia! Nature is such an inspiration for me, and it often leads me to haiku which I love to write.
Thanks for putting me in the Medical Monday mix. For anyone who reads this, Lydia is a doctor/writer who will answer med questions that come up in your storytelling.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Tricia, cool post. Nature is always amazing. I remember the last time I went to the beach was on my eighteenth birthday. It was just an awesome feeling to feel the breeze around me, the waves smash into each other, and collect some cool seashells and rocks in the sand. Awesome post and write on!

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

I don't think I've ever seen one of those before. But what an amazing creature. Thank you for sharing it with us--and for sharing your fabulous pictures as always. I'm so envious of your proximity to the sea.

Marcia said...

Wonderful. You made me feel like I was there. There IS a place where we can stop the world and get off.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Vatche: I think everyone needs to get out in nature frequently to keep a sense of balance. It is our planet's natural state, after all.

Carolina: I love discovering creatures and plants that are new to me. That's one of the benefits of exploring nature. And it sure lifts me up.

Hi and welcome, Marcia: I love that thought--yes, we can stop the madness for awhile and find the wonder.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I miss the ocean so much! I grew up right beside it. Beautiful photos.

Liza said...

Reading your posts are like coming home. There is nothing better than RX = Sea!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Talli: Thank you! I need the ocean, like air and light.

Liza: Oh, that makes me feel wonderful. Thank you so much!

Jackee said...

Gorgeous! I envy that you live so close to the ocean, but then, there is beauty in every place in some way.

Thanks for the pictures and lovely word images to go with it. I'm glad you got your Rx!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Jackee: I want to get even closer! I'm wishing on stars or anything else I can find. But you are right, we can find beauty (or make it) anywhere.