My friend Vince sent me the following the other day via email. It's by Lucy Maud Montgomery, a Prince Edward Islander (and author of Anne of Green Gables):
The woods are never solitary—they are full of whispering, beckoning, friendly life. But the sea is a mighty soul, forever moaning of some great, unshareable sorrow, which shuts it up into itself for all eternity…The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only—a mighty voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The woods are human, but the sea is of the company of the archangels.
Beautifully written, but I find myself thinking: Maybe ... maybe not.
I think mostly maybe not.
My experience is that the sea has many moods and many voices. At times the ocean roars mightily, but other times she whispers, sighs and even laughs merrily. For all that, the sea is vast and sometimes seems quite alien; it feels, to me, very much akin to the vastness of an unpeopled desert, the not-quite-emptiness of an unlit night sky spangled with other worlds.
It's a damned handy thing that homo sapiens is such an adept tool-maker.With 71 percent of the planet's surface covered in salt water, I find boats to be a clever and necessary adaptation.