the ocean’s pull

The first day of spring sun’s glow warms me as I leave my house for an afternoon run..

I reach the cliffs that look out over the Pacific.
I cross the street, stop, and take it in.

The trail’s edge is guarded by a railing, but the wind off the ocean holds me. I drink in deep gulps of blue air that whip off the water. My runner’s warmed body is impervious to the chill.

Most of my life I have been able to get to the ocean on foot. It has been a constant companion. An every day presence.

The endlessness of it gives me a sense of continuity.
I look out sensing the centuries of people that did the same;
and I hope that the generations after me will do the same.
I imagine the worlds hidden underneath,
reminding me of all I do not see and all I need to learn.

The power is evident in the cliffs, the rocks,
the pebbles, the sky above.
All are continually pushed, pulled, morphed by it.

I take in a last look and a step toward home, grateful knowing I will see it tomorrow.

Day 21 Slice of Life Daily Challenge 2021. Read more slices here.

18 thoughts on “the ocean’s pull

  1. For me too,”Most of my life I have been able to get to the ocean on foot. It has been a constant companion. An every day presence.” How lucky are we? Beautiful.

  2. Since I live in a land locked state the ocean is a several hour car ride away. The ocean…powerful yet calming, changing but constant. Thanks for this glimpse.

  3. “Most of my life I have been able to get to the ocean on foot” speaks volumes about your connection to the sea. What I particularly marvel at in your poem is the balance between the runner (flow, motion, warmth) and the ocean (the push and pull, the timelessness), A gorgeous meditation on power and beauty.

  4. Oh how wonderful to have this at your doorstep! I am in the middle of the country – oceans a long way in either direction. My long view is the rolling field of corn or soy beans in the summer. A drive through the middle countries waving sea of grain. Thanks for sharing your ocean with us!

  5. What a blessing to live near water. The pull of the tides, the wind across, and those cliffs inspire peace and understanding that our world is beautiful.

  6. I loved reading this as this is not my neighborhood. I plan to visit the Atlantic Ocean for a few days next week over Spring Break and I’ll remember you as I puase and look out at it.
    Fav line: Most of my life I have been able to get to the ocean on foot. It has been a constant companion.
    I liked that you personified the ocean and call it a friend!

  7. Your the pace and rhythm of your slice beautifully matched the ebb and flow of the ocean. I haven’t run in 8 weeks … these lines hit my heart: “I drink in deep gulps of blue air that whip off the water. My runner’s warmed body is impervious to the chill.” Thank you for taking me on your run today – I needed it.

    • I remember when you went running on a very cold day at an NCTE conference. The sedentary life of recovery is sooo hard to adjust to when you are used to using your body. You will cherish every run when you come back!!

  8. My parents grew up at the Jersey Shore and there is indeed a pull that I feel. I don’t really like swimming but the sound of the ocean, the smell of the salt air and the feeling of calm causes me to want to relocate. I look at zillow more often than I would like to confess.

    • I love swimming but only in warm water so I rarely venture in. I don’t think you need to go in the water to connect to it. Even looking at photos gives me a sense of calm.

  9. You surely are fortunate to get to the ocean whenever you want. The kids at our school will probably never see the sea in their lives, so it’s hard to describe what they’re missing. You describe it very movingly and its hold on you and the photo is breathtaking.

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