The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one and its net of wonder forever- Jacque Cousteau.
I only scratched the surface on how the ocean impacts my life with the last post. I grew up in a community where the sea was a way of life. It provided some of my family members with a way to make a living. From fishermen to scallopers, familiar faces would go out on trips for weeks and put grueling work in treacherous conditions.
These jobs are not for the faint of heart. The physical toll put on your body is not only harmful but dangerous. These trips leave no matter the weather. Every year, I would read in the paper that someone was lost at sea. We have a church at home called Seamen’s Bethel, and in it are names of ocean adventurers lost at sea that date back to the whaling days.
Some of the stories told in the novel Moby Dick were written about New Bedford, Massachusetts, and include this church.
Two years ago on Christmas, I had a terrific conversation with my cousin’s son. He’s in his early twenties and is a scalloper on a boat. He explained to me some of the jobs that he has had on the ship. At first, you are given the jobs that no one wants to do. If you survive the first couple of trips, you move up to more manageable work. Many people go into the industry because it’s a very lucrative job without going to college. He’s been able to buy a house for his mom, a boat, and a new truck. He told me it’s not really about the money; he loves being on the ocean. He feels the most peace and tranquility on the water. Whenever he can, he’s back on the boat. Home isn’t being on land but the water.
This conversation has been on my mind because this has been how I’m feeling. I need to be near the water for peace of mind. If I go some time without sitting and meditating by the ocean, I am off-balanced emotionally. I was hoping to go home this summer, but with two quarantines and having to pay for Covid tests, it’s not feasible.
The homesick feelings have surfaced, knowing that I can’t go home and enjoy what summer has to offer. I’ve been trying to look at the positive aspects of being here. Next week we have a long weekend, so I’ll be off to Eastern Taiwan, Waio Beach.