Religiously, I have always been a bit different. I consider myself non-religious – an agnostic – but that is not completely true. You see, I’ve always had a deep and sincere respect and feeling of belonging for the powers of nature, and I often find myself trying to find peace by talking to the sky, the sun and the sea.
Nature has the power to give us life, to fuel us with energy, give us light and life – but at the same time she has the ability to cause such an intense destruction that we all must be careful to respect her. I know that today, I am not doing nearly enough to preserve what we have, but I know I have gotten better. Still, I can do more.
The sea is what gets me though. I have a Pocahontas-esque relationship to that deep, dark, salty body of fluid that surrounds all of us.
I still remember the longest time I have spent away from the sea, and in hindsight, it was a bit of torture. I do believe part of the reason for my misery was just that – I was positioned such a distance away from anything resembling waves and currents and it just didn’t feel right. I just didn’t know it. Living in Mildura and Robinvale at the time, I would seek the river on so many occasions, but I couldn’t get myself to love it. Yes, it was water, and yes, it had dangers and mysteries and some people absolutely loved it, but me? To me, it was just that; water running from one place that would eventually end up as the sea. Like an ocean-infant. I swam in it, sat by it, talked to it, but conveying my thoughts and spilling out my heart to this moving waterway never felt as soothing and calming as the changing tide and the waves crashing.
I didn’t know it, of course. I didn’t know how important the deep blue was for me. All my life I’d been surrounded by it – grown up by it, born only a few hundred meters from it. I would be able to take in its saline scent almost every single day of my childhood, only briefly interrupted by inland escapades. Many parts of my family made and still make their living based on the seas’ mere existence, my hometown was founded on the very same thing – the need for travelling across the large pool of mysterious body of water. And it wasn’t until I was far removed for some time, and then returned, that I realised I had missed it so. It wasn’t until I hopped on the tram on my first day in Adelaide and travelled down to the bay to walk out onto the jetty and was yet again able to communicate to her, that I knew I was back home again – together with the ocean. I made a promise to myself, that night, that I would never go that long before I go to see her again. She’s my biggest confidant, I share my husband and my children with her, and she calms me more than any drug or human could ever do. The sheer fact that she has the ability to, together with her friends; the other elements of the world, cause an insane amount of destruction only gives me more reason to have this on the brink of religious – spiritual – connection.
When we lived interstate, and was given a house mere meters from the shore, it was bliss. Yes, we were posted far away from all family and all the things that were known to us, but our relationship and family was thriving and growing, and I believe; much to the success of the ocean. Being able to visit every day and take in that ocean breeze caused our otherwise drama-filled living to reach a level of peace and tranquility we would never have reached without it. I am forever grateful for the sea and what she has given me.
Nothing calms me more than staring into the deep, dark unknown, and when there’s a storm surrounding me, I will always come back, to re-set and to refocus my thoughts.
I guess you could say I’m a bit religious after all.