Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Midday Bay

on 13 August 2010

I really love the ocean. I mean, really really love the ocean. There’s nothing like standing at the water’s edge staring out into the infinite horizon to realize just how insignificant you are in the scope of time. However, at the same time I love looking down at the minute grains of sand and remembering that God has them all numbered; so how much more does He care about us?

It’s an odd conflict of feelings- feeling both vastly significant and insignificant at the same time.

Then I tend to just stare out into the horizon. It’s so peaceful; there’s nothing there to distract your mind. My imagination is then free to imagine what lies beyond what I can see: more ocean, deep swells, and far-away lands.

I don’t know if I could ever live far away from the ocean. Even though I don’t go to the beach that often, it’s comforting to know that it is there. I love sitting in a┬árestaurant looking over the bay and the ocean, driving over long bridges to get from one place to another, or even just driving by the oceanfront while running errands.

Enough pontificating, on to the picture! This is taken from the porch of one of our favourite local seafood restaurants. The food is amazing (she-crab soup with sherry especially!), but the view is really spectacular. The restaurant is set back into a bay, so this shot is taken from one end of the bay looking out to the other. The infinite ocean is to the left….

Enjoy your weekend! (Click on the picture to see it full size.)

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach


4 responses to “Midday Bay

  1. Catherine says:

    WOO HOO for M. Arnold and “Dover Beach”!

    (ok, now that I have that out of my system)

    I love the ocean. I lived near it when I was little. For me, it’s the sound of it I love so much. Very soothing. Stupid Indiana and it’s lack of ocean :-P

    • Don’t you just love Dover Beach? I love how even the cadence of the lines mimic the sound of the ocean. Oh dear, I do suppose Indiana is a wee bit landlocked…so sorry to hear that! Lake Michigan just isn’t the same. ;) -MissW

  2. OldSarge says:

    Living by the water myself, bay and ocean, I can never live anywhere else.

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