I need the sea because it teaches me.
I don't know if I learn music of awareness,
if it's a single wave or its vast existence,
or only its harsh voice or its shining
suggestion of fishes and ships.
The fact is that until I fall asleep,
in some magnetic way I move
in the University of the waves.
- Pablo Neruda from On the Blue Shore of Silence
Until thirteen years of age, I spent months at a time living on a variety of steamships. My father attended meetings around the world and ship cabins became our home. Thankfully, we docked at ports of call often because seasickness taunted as my beast to conquer.I spent days dizzy and nauseated.
After a month on board, I usually had gained sea legs and began my discovery of what Neruda calls, "the University of the waves." I studied movements of flying fish and sea creatures we happened upon. The line of the horizon where nothing existed but blue penetrating into green-blue sparked my curiosity.
Sea spray redolent with fishiness accompanied my walks on deck. A mixture of ship oil, paint and wooden deck preservative return in memory. The sea sounded with swishes and thunks depending on its mood. Bells on board signaled activities starting and ending.Evenings spread darkness in velvet until the silver of starlight penetrated.
I learned the constellations from vantage points around the world. Storms provided whitecaps and cloud formations that amazed me from my queasiness. The rain ran salty on my tongue.
Now the sea remains a constant companion on my morning runs. I marvel at the tenacity of waves as they reveal their daily moods.
Creative Write: Share an experience you have had with the sea or another body of water. Bring in sensory imagery.