Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Merciless Ocean

Last night we took our children to the beach to walk, as we often do to relax and kill some of their energy, and we asked my parents to join us. When we got to the beach there was a firetruck, rescue vehicles, and news trucks. Overhead we could see a helicopter flying along the shoreline. My heart sunk. I knew. We all knew. They were searching for someone, a 17 year old young man who reportedly went missing in the rough water. The choppy, frothy, swirling dark water.


It was windy last night. More so than we expected. Grey clouds were lightly painted over a fading blue sky. They hung overcast, beautiful and dark at the same time.

An older woman sat on the beach, rocking back and forth, crying softly "why?" Her eyes were swollen. I wanted to talk to her but, what would I say? Was she that young man's mother? Others lingered around her, some on cell phones, others staring at the water, others talking to rescue personnel.


Everything felt like it was in slow motion.

The ocean showed no mercy last night.

My heart broke and I had to put it aside and walk. For the kids we had to walk.

Past the trucks. Past the people. I battled anxiety as I answered my almost 4 years old's questions: "Why are there rescue trucks here?" "Is someone in trouble?" "How come we can't go in the water?" "What is the helicopter doing?" "What are those big bikes?" (ATVs) "What is that boat doing out there?" (The Coast Guard search boat)

How do you explain to an almost 4 year old that the ocean is awesome. And heartless. And even if you are a strong man you can still get in trouble - so fast - without warning - and disappear? I have to teach these lessons to my children. I don't want to teach these lessons to my children.

Despite the air of sorrow we did enjoy being outside, barefoot, disconnected from the interweb we weave. It's nice to do that occasionally. To look out on to something so big, so powerful, so unpredictable, yet teeming with life, a playground for discovery, a wealth of wonder. My life is small in comparison. My problems are minor. My life is rich and I have much to be thankful for.



Cat September 9, 2009 at 10:39 AM  

Awesome and heartless- great words. And lovely pics of your family!

Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 1:05 PM  

I'm all choked up. This is definitely some perspective, just as Maria said.

My Bottle's Up! September 9, 2009 at 1:16 PM  

beautifully written my dear.... wow.

Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

I am sooo with you on this. I *must* teach my 4 year old things that I wish I didn't have to teach her. We all think we are invincible, that these things can't or won't happen to us. Thank you for some perspective. You are so right.

Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 1:26 PM  

I struggle with a similar perspecive all the time. It is something we will have to teach our childresn. It is probably the one of the main things I would shield him from if given the choice. Love the pics, you have a beautiful family.

Maria Melee September 9, 2009 at 1:38 PM  

That is just horrible.

Did you find out anything else in the news today?

Chantel September 9, 2009 at 3:33 PM  

You have a beautiful family. You described the ocean very well. Well written post. :)

Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 6:48 PM  

That is tragic.

Your kids are so freakin' cute!! The pics of your family are great.

Ange September 10, 2009 at 4:28 AM  

So sad, but such a great post. Cherish your gentlemen- LOVE the family pic!

Kekibird September 16, 2009 at 2:29 PM  

Wow...left me speechless by the power of those words. The mixture of awe and fury that is the ocean is amazing.