The Shore vs. The Sea

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photo taken by ruth malvoisin

 

When I was younger, I used to love going to the beach. Living in South Florida, there’s an abundance of different beaches to explore. One of my favorite pastimes was seeing how far I could go into the water before it got too deep for me to go any further out.

It was always different, every single time. There were some beaches that I’d take only a few steps past the shore and almost immediately I’d have water up to my neck. There were others that I’d go so far past the shoreline, I’d look back and see that my family looked like ants because the shoreline was so far away, but the water barely touched my knees.

What lies beyond the shore never bothered me as a child. I had a continuous fascination with the life inside the ocean – all the fish and sand dollars, even dolphins on some rare occasions.

As I grew older my trips to the beach were less exploratory. I’d go with family but barely go past a depth in the water that went higher than my ankles. It wasn’t just an all of sudden occurrence, the more I noticed how far the life within the ocean could go, the more I looked out at the ocean with a sense of anxiety.

There are so many unexplored bounds of the ocean that haven’t even tapped humanity’s radar of exploration. I’ve spent many days wondering what is beyond the shore, just as I have with my own personal horizons.

The peculiar thing about the ocean and the way it relates to life is that when we’re young, we explore both with no reservations. We’re filled with excitement of what is ahead of us without looking at what could possibly present itself as an obstacle.

As we get older, we learn about the depths of the ocean and what obstacles life can place in our way. Things start to lose their aura of simplicity. The lightness of our simple pleasures gains a weight of perplexity as we realize the medley of treacherous obstacles that dwell within the beyond.

The riptides and sharks of the ocean should not stop you from exploring its depths. It can be so easy to take in the view of the sea from the shore, but let’s not forget that some of the best parts of the ocean are what lies underneath its surface.

In life we have our own personal undertows that knock us about and put us in the face of some of the scary monsters that we feel like would be too much of a risk to face. As with the ocean, we have the opportunity to stay in a realm of comfort and look towards a beyond, and we can wonder what it would be like to be a part of it.

I’m not here to wonder. I’ve taken in the views of the sea from the shore, and I’ve felt the enticing trickle of the waves of the ocean lapping up at my feet. I don’t want to linger in a comfortable realm where I have a perfect view of what lies ahead of me and take no action to move towards it.

I will admit, I have spent a large portion of my life tender-footing my way around risks. I’ve made it to places where I can stand comfortably with the life I have, but I could live my life differently – I could live my life the way that I want to.

You can jump into the ocean and enter it with grace, or you can be like me, someone who may have to take light steps before they fully dive in, but step past the shore. Step past the comfortable bounds of a life without risk.

What’s life without a little risk anyway?