I went to the beach Sunday, and it was so windy, that people were flying kites on the shore. I don't go to the beach to fly kites. Moreover, I don't like kites, and I certainly don't like wind. I go to the beach to swim, and despite the high tide making violent waves crash onto the shore, I went in. I let the waves, big and high, crash over me, slap me around and even throw me down. A lot of people were doing just that; standing in water just deep enough to come up to the chest and just letting the sea try to kick them out.
I've never been one to like anything that, at least in theory, defies Nature. I respect Nature so much, I don't dare look it in the eye. I don't even put away my coats and sweaters until Memorial Day weekend. But that Sunday, I tell you, I was determined to feel saltwater on my skin, so I lifted my humble gaze and stared a force of Nature straight in the eye. The power it had over me, now that I think about it, was enough to be fatal if it so decided, but it let me get up each time it knocked me down. Knowing that humbles me even further.
I was watching the evening news three days later, when a news item talked about the high winds and high tides in the same waters I had braved and even learned to body surf in just days before. The waves had crashed over someone else, but did not let him get back up like they did me.
Nature. The Sea. I've finally grasped the meaning behind that faraway look in the eyes of seafarers. It is a look that says "I'm waiting for the tide."