Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Seaside, Oregon lives up to its name. It is most certainly beside the sea, as will attest the sea gull sitting on the balcony of my hotel room. From the window I can see the long sweep of beach, littered with people tentatively prodding along the line of sea that is the tongue edge of the light surf beating in. Low waves rise in an easy swell from the distant outer sea, lifting along the ocean bottom to rise to small waves that tumble easily to the shore. Inside my hotel room I cannot hear the surf unless I open the patio window and allow the chill air to enter.

I do that, and hear the skwelling gulls and rushing waves. The sea, it's life and lilt are constant. The power of the ocean, this host of all life on our planet, this eternal reservoir, is undeniable and irrepressible. The sea is persistent. From this distance nothing is louder than the shore, nothing speaks more of life than the waves.

My memory is alive even though my body is trapped in this chair. It's only my legs that don't work today, but that is enough to keep me from walking the strand. That is enough to keep my atop the balustrade and stairway that borders the beach, the walk that edges it all. Yet in that memory I have a lifetime of experiences.

As I smell the air I can remember a time when I stood before that running line, that moving edge. I can recall my children laughing as they escaped it, and screaming as it attacked them and they fell victim to its persistent presence and power. I can remember the curling edge of the wave driving up over my toes, foam tickling my ankles, water seeping and creeping into the cracks and pores of my feet, salt healing and washing away the dirt and dust of the day, leaving a crust and film that only the ocean can create.

I remember standing beside the soft thunder and damp mist of the tumbling waves as they break upon the breast of the shore, leaving a glistening sweat as far as they can reach, a foaming edge fronted line, receiving back from the shore that gift of water so quickly and easily set there. I can remember the rush in and roll out, pulling the sand out from under my feet, creating an urgency to move away from the sinking beach beneath me. I can remember the break and edge, edge and break of a thousand wavelets and rivulets and surf.

I can hear; I am not deaf. I can see: I am not blind. Yet to walk the edge of the sea now escapes me.


  1. Memory is wonderful in its ability to capture recollections and allow us to live them over and over again. It is sad that you can no longer put your feet in the water but good that you can remember how wonderful it feels. Maybe your chair will be able to let you feel again. Not too likely as chairs do not work well in sand.
    love Mom

  2. We thought about that for about a minute. Then decided the stairs would do me in regardless. :)

  3. Where r u heading to?

  4. @Anonymous - No plan. Mostly south.

  5. Being at the sea is one experience that will surely be memorable. We will never forget on how it calm our mind and soul whenever we're sitting at the shore and adoring the amazing sight of the sea, especially during sunset. You have a wonderful memory and view from your window. I'm sure one day, you'll able to visit the beach again, and enjoy it the way you enjoyed it before.

    Katy Desroches @