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The Coastal Rhythms of Life

By Daria Blackwell

coastal living rhythmBy now, we have become so very tired of winter. In the Northeast, we hope we have gotten through the worst of it and spring (aka boating!) is just around the corner. We can taste it. We are getting anxious, planning boat projects, buying supplies, scanning catalogues. But what is it we really miss the most? I venture to say that it is the sea we miss. The boat is just a way to spend time with the sea.

Living by the sea is a very special privilege.   It is a place where each ebb and flow brings a new source of enrichment and where each day fosters a transformation of character.  It is a place where one learns respect and humility.   Its vastness spawns dreams and feeds the imagination.  Its natural forces never cease to impress and provide ample evidence of God in their unpredictability.  Some embrace the sea even when it threatens to engulf, while others flee from its power never to return.

In the place where the sea meets the land is where its true character is revealed.  It is here that change is most noticeable -- most ravaging and most soothing. The longer you live by it, the more attuned you get.  You start to feel and see and hear and smell the differences.  You start to appreciate the subtle changes, not just the dramatic ones.  The perpetual rhythm of the tides heals wounds and calms the spirit.  Their fury can also take everything away. 

If I don’t see the ocean for a few days, I get this unsettled feeling and, if I wait too long to do something about it, it becomes a craving stronger than any addictive substance.  I find myself working my way ever closer to the edge, to the place where you can start to smell the water, start to feel the sea air, until I am right there as part of it, feet splashing through the surf. 

As coastal sailors, we are so very lucky to have the opportunity to experience this place of limitless potential.  We see and hear and smell more things than most of our compadres who never leave the city.  We have the ultimate shoreside residence right on the water.  We provide the ambiance for the coastal dwellers while we merge with the sea for the time we are with her.  

So get out there on your boat as soon as you can. Look up at the sky and see the birds taking their turns at leadership in V-formation, peer into the waters to see the fish glimmer in schools that dance in remarkable unison, and feel the glow of the sun, the sting of the rain, and the caress of the wind on your cheeks. Experience every aspect. Take it in. Take it all in and breathe a sigh of relief. The coastal rhythm of life will rejuvenate you no matter how far you may have strayed from the shores. Oh, the joy of it! It's almost time to go back out again.


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