“My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up.
Till it could come no more.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses
It is fitting that for vacation we especially seek places of natural beauty. In her more notable manifestations the natural world speaks to us insistently.
Endless variety in endless stability, all in fidelity to one’s nature. Such is all that is ‘alive,’ even when not a living thing. Mountains and valleys; vast plains; rivers and waterfalls; the forest.
It is remarkable how we feel that we can just look and look; and listen. And we do not tire. Or if we do, it is either because we cannot bear it, or because we know it is time for us to move on, somehow taking a lesson with us.
The sea is always true to itself, manifesting the nature it has been given. I can achieve the same thing–on a level far beyond the majestic sea, and the plants and animals that call it home. But it will require much of me.
Being beside the sea, or any such place in the natural world, is a time to remember and reflect. And to make a resolution. To discover, perhaps anew, or perhaps for the first time, what it really means to be alive.
R.L Stevenson (1850-1894) is the great Scottish author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, A Child’s Garden of Verses, and other classics.
Image: Even without a wooden spade to dig the sandy shore, we can connect with the deep magic.