Friday, December 09, 2005

I Know What I Need

After yesterday's post I did some thinking (a dangerous past time, I know), and I figured out what I need. The ocean or a gulf or any body of salty water with waves and birds and sand. See, I'm a Florida native, and when all is not right with me I need to get back to the beach. I don't even care if it is warm. Sometimes all I need is a good spray of salt and I'm good for six months at least. The last time I felt a beach was in March, and that is too long for me. Way too long.

I know that the lack of a beach was what made me not like North Carolina. And, don't tell me about the Outer Banks. When you live in the Research Triangle area getting to the Outer Banks is so long, and the Atlantic Ocean is so not me. It's brown. I need greenish blue water that sparkles in the Florida sun. The Atlantic can do in a pinch, but I don't long for it.

My best memory of the Atlantic is on a sailing ship out of Morehead City. We laid anchor on the sound side of a barrier island. The passengers could either climb down into a dingy to get to shore or dive into the water for a short swim. My friend, Mika-Minnie, and I (Yeah, Phill was there and he did it too, but he was so not part of the story that day) chose to dive into the water. The feel of the warm, salty water was bliss as my body slid into it. When I need to find solitude, I think of that dive and that water. Bliss. Sheer, lovely bliss.

So, my need for the salt water brought one of my favorite poems to mind. I share it with you.

Sea Fever by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's
shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white coulds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted
knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

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