Friday, December 16, 2011

Beach dreams

Those friendly blogosphere people who drop by here now and then know that they will often see water pictures on my blog. I especially love the sea, in all its moods - rough and wild in an autumn storm, clear and calm on a winter's morning, noisy and full of purpose at high tides, leaving its shelldrift debris strewn across the sand.

 "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore."
~Vincent Van Gogh 

In the long, narrow islands which make up New Zealand, there is nowhere far from the sea. I live ten minutes' drive from the east coast, where I can look out across the Pacific Ocean and imagine that I can see Chile; it takes me 2 hours or so to drive westwards to the other coast, the wild west coast of the Tasman Sea, where the shores are rugged, the sands are black, and the surf is always pumping.

Taranaki, October 2011

My very best thing to do is to walk on the beach. I love to watch the water and the offshore islands, volcanic giants slumbering hunch-shouldered in sea mists or sparkling sunlight. If there are others around, so be it - but I keep away from the Surf Club end in the summer; the fewer people around the better! 

What is it that so draws me about the ocean? There are some things I can put into words: it seems endless, even though it's not; it appears benign, although it often isn't. I like the whole in-and-out, up-and-down, ebb-and-flow thing, which in a transient and hectic world seems calming, soothing, a certainty. 
So, I get tetchy if I don't get my beach fix; at a pinch I'll make do with a lake or a river, but the air, the waves, the smells on the seashore all add up to what to me is a very fundamental and important part of my life.

My beach, mid-winter

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery


  1. I grew up near the water as well, and even crewed on commercial vessels for 7 years. Once you get seawater in your blood there's no moving away from the coast.

  2. Love the photos.. so peaceful..
    btw on your sidebar I see a cute puppy!. Is he/she yours?

  3. Good thing it's summer and you can go to the beach!

    I tend to prefer mountains, but, considering where I'm from, that makes perfect sense.

  4. Having been raised near the ocean, and now being landlocked, 1,000 miles from the nearest ocean, I really appreciate your ocean pictures. Mmmmm, waves splashing over your bare feet. The smell of the salt water. Thanks...

  5. Oh what lovely photos. I too know what you feel about being by the ocean. I went to Vero Beach, Florida for my niece's wedding and I couldn't keep from spending most of my time (all by myself) just sitting, and walking, dipping in, but mostly just watching and listening...knowing that I only had a few days to take this all in before back to land live in such a magical place.....

  6. Water is such a magical thing. I mostly settle for our lake these days, but however it comes it is a healing joy. Thank you so much for sharing your world through these beautiful photos.

  7. Hanny: you have summed it up - "seawater in your blood" :)

    KBF: Thanks! That was Mr D'Arcy - sadly had to be put to sleep at a young age because of painful knee problems :(

    Lisa: I like to look at mountains, but I hate the cold, so...

    Max: Yes, those sensations are great! Thank you.

    Karen: those alone times are the best!

    EC: Thank you.


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