I Took a Walk

For Sumana’s Prompt at Poets United – It’s a Beautiful World

I Took a Walk

“If you’re a writer, particularly if you’re a writer or a storyteller of any kind, there is something already kind of monstrously wrong with you.” Anthony Bourdain

I have traveled a lot.
I’ve seen things, heard things,
eaten things –
I have seen incredibly beautiful things and
heartbreakingly ugly things.
I was feeling down about the world,
about what we humans had done to it –
how we have trashed it, burned it,
raped it, murdered it.
But then I stood at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean
in January.
I watched the grey and white waves rolling in
under the grey and white sky.
I became at peace.
The waves washed over my boots and it began to snow.
I looked at the dull tan of the sand
and I thought,
You know. this world is still beautiful.
I took a chance and sat down and let the icy
waters wash over me –
baptizing me in the spirit of the sea.
I nearly froze to death
but wow – what a rush.
I stood up and shivered.
It is a beautiful world.
I felt connected for the first time in a while.
I let the waves wash away my anger.
I let the waves wash into me
the beauty of the grey and the white.

 

40 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hypercryptical
    Aug 22, 2018 @ 16:50:48

    There is something about the ocean Toni, the magnificence of it that makes us appreciate the wonder of our world, the beauty of it.
    I wrote (as a comment) on another post of how as a child, I was drawn to it, wanted to walk into it and keep on walking, not a death wish, but to be part of its beauty. My dream then was to join the navy – but I never did.
    I live in a coastal town – as I did as a young child – but visit the ocean little. I am not a car driver and as I live inland, it is two (difficult) bus rides away (my mobility is not good). However, when my son or DiL drive me to their home, also a coastal town, we pass the great grey expanse of the sea and it call me still.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Aug 22, 2018 @ 17:03:28

      I too wanted to walk into it, to keep walking, to explore the ocean’s floor, to touch coral and pet sharks and pick up the living shields with creatures inside and look them in the eye and then to put back down in their place. To emerge at different places and then to walk back into the ocean. I basically grew up by the ocean. The winter time is my favorite time by the ocean

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  2. Susan
    Aug 22, 2018 @ 18:05:16

    A saga to remember: “I took a chance” being the hinge between despair and love. To renew out there, we need to renew ourselves. Such a great story! I’m glad you didn’t freeze!

    Reply

  3. Sherry Marr
    Aug 22, 2018 @ 18:54:47

    Toni, I love this so much, because I feel the same way. My heart breaks for what we have done to this earthly garden – yet, more than anything, I see its amazing beauty. I love your poem!

    Reply

  4. Jabin Hawkins
    Aug 22, 2018 @ 19:30:09

    Ah yes, the ocean. I can relate to that connection. Something almost spiritual about it. I enjoyed reading your work.

    Reply

  5. Rall
    Aug 22, 2018 @ 20:21:25

    The sea has so many moods.Each one beautiful.Swimming in the sea is a spiritual experience and lessens stress. I am pleased you get to spend time there..I have never seen snow at the beach I hope it never happens where I live in the South Pacific.Although with all the strange weather patterns anything can happen. Enjoyed your poem.

    Reply

  6. Frank J. Tassone
    Aug 22, 2018 @ 20:26:37

    “Replace the anger with the tide” –Indigo Girls, “Kid Fears”

    An epiphany expressed in such poignant honesty and passion. Wonderful! I thought of the line from the bridge of “Kid Fears” by the duo the Indigo Girls.

    Reply

  7. Sumana Roy
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 00:26:02

    What I love about the sea is it makes me look a million times tinier than a speck of dust and cleanses me. It does connect too. This is so beautifully expressed here. Yes in spite of all the ugliness around, this world is truly beautiful.

    Reply

  8. oldegg
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 02:48:45

    What a wonderful post about really becoming part of the Earth (and seas) and realising what beautiful place this is. I really loved this poem.

    Reply

  9. anmol(alias HA)
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 03:01:23

    The world is still beautiful. Yes, indeed. I like how you revived your faith in this beauty, which is akin to being baptized, as you call it. Such a ponderous verse — the spirituality that one can attain in nature is not to be found anywhere else. Your ocean story is lovely.
    -HA

    Reply

    • anmol(alias HA)
      Aug 23, 2018 @ 03:03:27

      Also, this reminded me of one particular time when I stood at the confluence of Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal — I was a kid then but I still remember feeling at peace even though the sun was hot and the waters not so pretty. Ha!

      Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Aug 23, 2018 @ 06:46:14

      Thank you. I need this time alone at the ocean in the cold of winter. I use it to recharge and reconnect. To clean out the collected detritus.

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  10. kim881
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 04:31:56

    The ocean is a magnet, with the waves ebbing and flowing. These lines are a mantra I could easily adopt:
    ‘I let the waves wash away my anger.
    I let the waves wash into me
    the beauty of the grey and the white’.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Aug 23, 2018 @ 06:43:40

      Every year in January, my husband gives me the gift of solitude at the ocean. He knows I need it to recharge my batteries for the year ahead.

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  11. annell4
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 10:33:23

    I agree the ocean can be a healing sight. I shiver at your “cold” bottom!

    Reply

  12. coalblack
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 13:03:13

    I love this. I have always found nature to be a healing thing. When i am troubled, immersing myself in nature by hiking or walking or sitting in my woodsy back yard, or even literally as you have described, always restores me to some kind of peace.

    Reply

  13. sanaarizvi
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 15:36:40

    This is beautifully evocative. Especially love; “I let the waves wash away my anger. I let the waves wash into me the beauty of the grey and the white.” ❤

    Reply

  14. Glenn Buttkus
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 15:59:53

    For most of my life here in WA state, I have fled to the forest to recharge and meditate. But 26 years ago, my new wife shared with me her intense love of the ocean. Now I split my wanderings into mountains and beaches. I love Tony’s quote. CNN is airing a new season of his last few travel shows.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Aug 23, 2018 @ 16:17:34

      I know. I am glad we are going to be able to see the last few. My husband always gives me the gift of solitude at the beach in January. It recharged my soul batteries.

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  15. Jo
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 16:35:51

    A beautiful poem about our beautiful world!

    Reply

  16. Grace
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 17:31:22

    I felt refreshed and invigorated. It is a beautiful world after all. Have a good weekend Toni.

    Reply

  17. V.J. Knutson
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 17:58:08

    Sometimes we need the power of nature to shock us back to our senses. Beautiful capture of such a moment.

    Reply

  18. Brendan
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 18:35:17

    Strange, that the sea’s cold embrace could so comfort. Makes you wonder why we’re so jealous of our share of dry land!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Aug 23, 2018 @ 19:03:24

      I was raised by the ocean. We had our sea wings since we arrived on these shores in the early 1700’s. We always taught respect for the ocean and its space on this earth. My favorite time of year at the ocean is the winter without the noisy tourists, the prattling children….only the watermen, the farmers in place. Walking on the beach in the dead of winter is calming, soothing, it recharges my batteries. Sometimes we need the cold of the water to shock us out of our complacency, our bitterness, our anger. In the winter I go oystering, fishing from the almost empty pier, looking for shells. In the bitter cold I am often barefoot. It often snows as I walk. I avoid the ocean in summer. Too many people wrecking it.

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  19. Ali Grimshaw
    Aug 23, 2018 @ 22:05:12

    I can relate to your experience. Listening to the ocean waves always brings my shoulders down out of my ears and I notice that I can finally get a full breath. And yes we can always choose to see beauty even in the broken places.

    Reply

  20. Anonymous
    Aug 24, 2018 @ 08:33:55

    Thanks Elizabeth! Wine is a fun subject 😉http://wasabimon.com/

    Reply

  21. Frank Hubeny
    Aug 24, 2018 @ 15:10:46

    Nice line: “I let the waves wash away my anger.” A good reason to have waves.

    Reply

  22. teal
    Aug 25, 2018 @ 16:40:41

    This is stunning, woman.

    Reply

  23. Lona Gynt
    Aug 26, 2018 @ 00:34:03

    Agree with this beautiful epiphany, with the hope that such recognitions can spur us to action in some sphere to help preserve our home.

    “I felt connected for the first time in a while.
    I let the waves wash away my anger.
    I let the waves wash into me
    the beauty of the grey and the white.”

    Lovely and poignant.

    Reply

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