I resonate most with the ocean. Nature is forever calling us to her, for we were created from the dust of the earth and we are meant to walk upon it. Me? I was born near the ocean, and if anyone were to ask the one object I would describe myself as, it would be the ocean.
It is beautiful on the surface. With ebbs and flows and holdings for many people, it carries many weights and lets the sun shine down on it. Sometimes it tosses those things around for it needs to be alone. Sometimes it gets angry and hurt when people hurt the things inside it, and if a person is lucky, it will open itself up to them and allow them to explore the depths.
And oh, it is terrifying. It is a mystery. With so many thoughts swirling about, there are secrets it won't tell anyone, universes glistening from the light refracting upon it, and scary caves that it hides in darkness.
But it is so vast and expansive that it would take a thousand lifetimes to discover its potential, and if one can only scratch the surface, he will be rewarded for life.
And perhaps all humans are like the ocean, with our secrets and depths and desires to be known. Why do we build up dams against people, or allow them to block our streams? If we can only remember how deep and vast and beautiful each of us are, not only will we pay no heed to those who try to harm us, but we will cease harming others.
The day began in a sleepy haze. It had been months since I viewed that long stretch of road between my home and our destination, and I would sleep for half an hour, then in a half-sleep daze photograph the scenery outside the car window, only to fall back asleep on my brothers' shoulders. This cycle repeated four times.
It seems that every time I go whale watching, the weather is perfect and all the animals are alive. Our guide repeatedly would say, "The weather is not usually like this," or "This usually doesn't happen," or "We usually don't see this many whales" and it just made me smile because we saw an abundance of life and I knew it would happen. I always have an intuition when something will happen but it always catches me slightly off guard when something happens right when I say it will. Right when I step out onto the deck, a whale pokes its back right in front of me (it actually scared me for a moment because it suddenly appeared). Or, "Oh yeah, once I put my camera down, that whale will come up again," and then five whales suddenly appear. Then five more. Then three different groups of porpoises. Then three bald eagles. Then clear skies and a glass-silent ocean. Call it coincidence if you will, but I have yet to experience an uneventful day on the ocean.
With rising and falling of waves and with wind-tousled hair in my face, the only stretch of land blocking the Pacific Ocean is Hawaii, an unknown land to me hundreds of miles away. And between it and I? Nothing but water with leagues of teeming life and salt and that is just a terrifying and beautiful thought to me, how there can be so much and I'll only see a tiny bit of the surface. Who knows what lurks right underneath my swaying feet? The darkness scares me, but there is a certain beauty in it, for without the shadows there is no light.
And oh man, I just love the ocean. I love how unpredictable it is and how the mountains fall into it and how the light shimmers on it and how the cute little animals poke their heads through it and play hide-and-seek in it and how it feels on my skin and how it smells in my nose and how when I lay down at night in my own bed I can close my eyes and feel myself rocking with the rise and fall of the waves. And I pretend that in that moment I am actually connected to the ocean, feeling what it does in real time, responding to it, allowing it to lull me to sleep. And maybe that's not so far from the truth? At least I like to think that way.