E.E Cummings in one of his poems about four girls, Maggie, Milly, Molly and May who one day go down to the beach to play, once wrote,
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
It’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
I, in today’s piece, explore as I wonder, why the beach at the sea sheds away our sadness like magic, and ultimately helps us to find the happiness we desire.
Watch the horizon there, filled with water to the brim. Look at the tempest yet calm sea, hitting shore with playful waves in timely fashion. Look at what these waves give and take away each time, when they roll and oscillate like an indecisive ship. Feel the sun falling in your eyes, glittering upon the specks of sand in its path. Reflecting the happy moments you’ve had, turning to vapour each flame of regret, erasing predicaments and troubling dreams from your mind’s eye, perking you with enriching confidence. Feel the wind, running by you, teasing your hair, fueling the power of each passing second, each blessed breath, every moment like never before; feel it pinching your skin, as it flutters like a butterfly carrying the scent of love, telling you that you are free, free like never before. The warmth of the prickly hot sand. An imperfect paradise offering escape from endless self-introspection. The corner of the earth, offering you the world and the worlds beyond it; accustomed for you, a safe kind of high that you can dwell on without keeping count; all of it is at the beach at the sea.
Our definitions of happiness, peace, contentment are patchy, like ideas under work. But at the beach, near the salty flavour of water, near a personification of endless time, we happen to find all of it: our desired happiness, real peace and priced satisfaction. The sea beach is a time portal for many, one which not only offers escape from one’s troubled monotonous and broken life, but offers a chance to forget it and move ahead. It is the quietness in the sound of the loud, witting, and never waiting water, and silence within the bells of laughter, where we can actualise our pursuit of happiness and not think of the challenges we face. The beach at the sea, laid before you, naked and bare, beautiful and ageless, drinks your secrets and sorrow with the salt. It locks in sea shells your dark memories and lost hope and revives eventually the wick of courage.
The beach is like the lap of an old father, who would hear with compassion how you have sunk, but tell you likewise how to swim and surface again. When I look at the vast spread of water spread before me, flowing into the vastness of the unknown, the sea doesn’t show even a hint of vulnerability. It is proud to hold within it, all its pains, all its stories, all its mistakes, its history; never afraid to reveal it. When I look at its water dance and wobble freely, I sense freedom and opportunity, and luck blended with harmony, I hear the perfect music of life, and see the endless days ahead of me, and eventually I swim again.
How solved, how uncomplicated, is everything, when we are there, standing tall, with emptiness giving us comfort. Cummings was right in saying what he said about self-discovery. The joyous warmth of the beach, that helps us find our aleatory glow, is nothing but a craft in that same art. The beach is our comforter, it works some magic, I know it does, but I also believe that it only helps us discover what has always been within us.
If humans were vessels then they are empty of all baggage at the sea. The sea, the uncouth daughter of nature, beautiful and candid just the same, who takes sorrow and gives vicarious happiness. Happiness that will not make you dance or sing, or change a single sad thing in you, but it will, for the moments you choose to spend with it, help you see the grass where it’s greener and fuller.
It is unfaithful in that way, you may say. Strengthening you with false hopes, showing you a future made of dust. You may call it bogus and a cheat, for deceiving you and leaving you in the end.
I say otherwise, dear. The sand will leave you, and so would the wind. With passing time, the horizon will fade into the far as well. But the beach, oh the beach at sea, will never leave you, not if you carry it in your heart, like I do.