Oh, to see the sea…

Last night, I took a step that will enable me to knock not only one, but two, items off of my bucket list. In late October, I will be taking my first ever plane ride, and I will be going to North Carolina, where I can see the sea for the first time ever. Both flying on a plane and seeing the ocean are momentous events for me, and last night’s step of buying plane tickets ensures that they will happen (unless outside forces intervene somehow). This trip to visit a friend in NC has been in the workings for the past two years or so. We could never go before because tuition took over my bank account. With school now in the past, it’s great to see dreams becoming reality! Honestly, it always seemed like a dream too good to be true, always in the distant future and never to be in the present. But not so. This reminds me of a quote often attributed to C.S. Lewis:

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.”

***Side note: I have heard several people quote this, and they always attribute it to Lewis. Search it on Google, and you will find several websites that link it to Lewis’s Prince Caspian. But there are some sites that say this quote is not to be found in Prince Caspian and that Lewis never even said it. Some people say it comes from Calvin and Hobbes, but I’ll never be sure unless I see it in print. Curious… Wherever it’s from, it is a great stand-alone quote, though I’d like to see it in context. It reminds us that things might seem slow-moving now, but eventually everything will be a memory. This is both hopeful for me, knowing that all bad circumstances will pass and that things I want will eventually get here, but it is also a reminder to appreciate things in the present.***

So yes, I look forward to the long-expected journey to see my friend in NC and to at last see the sea. Imagining the ocean sends waves of magical enchantment through my mind. It reminds me of how the elves in The Lord of the Rings books would avoid the sea because they knew if they ever saw it, the longing to leave Middle Earth and sail to the undying lands would overcome them. The sea, in my imagination, also represents adventure, with stories like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and romanticized pirate stories (that I realize are far from reality). Maybe the spell is upon me because I have sea-faring blood in me. Supposedly, I am descended from Sir Francis Drake, privateer under Queen Elizabeth I. It’s a long stretch, but I’d rather believe this is true than try to disprove it.

Coincidentally, a blog I follow published a post today titled “10 of the Best Poems about the Sea.” Among those mentioned, Edmund Spenser’s is one of my favorites. Matt Stinton’s song “See the Sea” has also been rolling around in my mind lately:

“Can you see the sea?
Can you describe it to me?
For these old eyes can’t
Open wide enough to see if it really touches the sky
Just like these old ears have heard” (Stinton 2014).

For years, I’ve also heard tales from Sarah Wheaton (aka Sarah, Plain and Tall) about the power and enchantment of the ocean and about its deep colors…blue and grey and green.

Part of me now wants to research tales about the ocean, how it is seen in different cultures and tales, and perhaps I will.

But what a curious desire for someone who’s been landlocked her whole life.




Stinton, Matt. 2014. “See the Sea.” See the Sea. ForteNorth.

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