The scalloped edges of white foam rush toward the beach, making a sound like a mighty wind. The sounds of the waves crashing rise in crescendo, then fade to the ever present background sounds of the sea.
Between the leading edge of the small waves and the dry brownish sand beach lies the “wet zone”. Here, the sand is darker where the water has touched it and retreated. Kelp and sandy ridges are washed away. The wetzone where water meets sand is in pristine condition, stripped down to a packed expanse of wet sand. Here, people walk, children play chase with the fluctuating edges of sea foam. Their tracks are washed away.
Looking straight ahead out to sea, the ocean is greenish-gray. My eyes follow the coastline and see that further away, a bluer blue than the sky makes the ocean shine in the sun. Beyond the surf, tiny reflections of light look like diamonds sparkling in the ocean.
A lone pelican flies just feet above the water. Grayish, with a white patch on his head, a pouch hangs below his lower bill, his own tool for making a living.
The sound of the ocean mesmerizes me. I feel my body and soul sigh and drop into a more relaxed state. I feel almost “spacey”, a natural high brought on by listening to the rise and fall of ocean surf.
The ocean has layers of sound, not just one sound. In the background is the whoosh of wind or a waterfall. Close by, waves break and rush like the passing of a freight train. Down the beach a ways I hear similar muted sounds, filling in more layers of ocean sound. “White noise” some people call it.
The noise drowns out most of the un-natural sounds such as cars passing on the nearby road and loud human voices. Only the occasional airplane breaks my reverie.
The tides, the ocean, and their sounds advance and retreat. Male and female, aggressive and nurturing sounds… it all comes together to make the sound we simply identify as “ocean”.
Maybe it reminds us of sounds we heard in the womb. Everyone I’ve met so far enjoys the sound of the ocean – it puts people into a calm, no worries, thoughtful, relaxed state. Listening closely to the ocean sounds can be a meditation in and of itself.
I really do not like the sounds of so-called civilization. Clanging, pounding, metallic, motor sounds. Sounds that often startle me or make me anxious or even fearful. Sounds of a car horn, jackhammer, too many people talking all at once, chaos, confusion, and clatter.
Especially after I have been in the woods for a number of days, the contrast of woods vs. city sounds is an affront to my senses, depresses me, annoys me, and makes me want to run back to the woods. I guess I’ll get used to it again. That, in and of itself, is the tragedy… that we can adjust so easily to something that tugs at us, tears at us until we can again find peace in the sounds of nature.