Ocean Influences

It’s impossible not to be affected by the ocean while living on Cape Cod. Even if I don’t see it every day, I breathe it. The sound of distant fog horns brings the ocean closer to home. The air, after being touched by waves, sounds like waves as the wind roars through the trees. There are many gray, fog-filled days, but then these make us feel closer to the ocean. They smell of seaweed and adventure.

Adventurous people live here. People like whalers and sea captains once used the ocean to roam the planet. To them, the sight or smell of the ocean must have brought up an urge to be off again in wooden ships that would be tossed around like driftwood.

My novel, In the Echo of the Ocean, wouldn’t have been written if I lived in any other place. Even though the story is more about people than the ocean, I hope the sound of the waves and adventure can still be heard through the pages.

To me, the ocean will always bring up memories of salt-encrusted skin, playing in the waves with my brother, and searching for hermit crabs at low tide. I will always cherish it for those memories, for its beauty, and for the stories it tells.

The ocean means different things to different people. What does the ocean mean to you?

Related:
Oceana – Protecting the World’s Oceans

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48 thoughts on “Ocean Influences

  1. Oh – I’m so jealous! To be able to smell the sea every day would be bliss.
    The ocean for me is linked to two things I think: the snorkelling we do every summer here (despite the water being freezing), and all the wonderful creatures down there; and the surf beaches further down the coast. They are tremendously powerful, with dangerous rips, and they give you a real respect for natural forces.

  2. Hi Sheila.
    What does the ocean mean to me? It is a rythm that matches the ebb and flow of life. It is a place of wonder where, all of life came from and inevitably returns in one form or another.

    Again, beautiful photography that brings quiet contemplation.

    Best wishes.

    Talia.

  3. Sheila, what a lovely post, and absolutely exquisite photos! While I’m more used to freshwater lakes rather than the ocean, I love both, and miss them so much living here on the Canadian Prairies. Water is my muse, my inspiration, and the source of my rejuvenation. I’m so glad that Celeste pointed me in your direction, and am now following you. I look forward to exploring your works further. ~ Julie 🙂

    • thank you – I’ll admit that the last picture is Lake Michigan so I agree lakes can be just as beautiful and awe-inspiring – especially the Great ones

  4. Cousin! I too love the ocean, to me it represents power and awe about how nature is really part of what is in control, not us mere humans. I will definitely admit I like the salty smell too. I am also partial to the great lakes, they and the ocean(s) also represent sand (never liked the stuff) and sunburns. I always burn, gah. That would never stop me from looking for shells or walking along the lakes or oceans though. =) Hugs!

  5. Love this! Living by the Great Lakes all my life, my emotions are similar, though the experiences a bit different… Petoskey stone hunting on sugar sand beaches fill my senses. The roar of waves, the silence of the calm waters would lull me to sleep. The memory of those senses always calms my spirit. Thanks for giving such wonderful thoughts this evening! Love the pictures and the words!

  6. The ocean means home which is why, at the end of a long trip, we pronounce ourselves home as we go over the Bourne Bridge. It’s the water that lets us know we’re home, much more than a sign announcing a particular town or village on the Cape.

  7. Hi there,

    I have always wanted to visit Cape Cod (if I were ever to go to the States). The ocean is a great source of inspiration for me. I grew up overlooking the sea, smelling it every day, and falling asleep to the sound of the waves every night. It is truly magical.

  8. I love the ocean and large bodies of water. I love standing on the beach and looking out and not seeing land, just miles and miles of water. One of the best vacations I can remember is when we stayed in a hotel on the beach in California and my brother and I spent hours body surfing and playing in the waves. It brings back a carefree fun time in my life.

    • My brother and I would spend all day body surfing too – by the time we came out of the water we could hardly walk from being tossed around by those waves!

  9. I love your writing!
    The ocean for me brings memories of my early childhood on the west coast, from beach combing on the rocky shores of Oregon to midnight grunion runs in southern California. In my adolescent and teen years it meant summers of finding razor clams and horshoe crabs in the warmer bay side waters of Cape Cod, or burning myself to a salty crisp on the sandy coasts of Maine and New Hampshire. Now I’ve come full-circle, back to the west coast, where you can smell the sea air, treasure hunt for bright purple sea stars during low tides, and watch the sun set over the bay. It’s what I always seem to come back to and like you, to me it means home.

  10. Ah, the ocean is really a metaphor for my childhood. Laughing and playing in the sun-soaked landscape with my family. Frolicking in the freedom that unfettered youth provides…dancing on the ebb and flow of life.

    Then, unsuspectingly, being sucked into a washing machine-like vortex of an undertow…spinning out of control whilst others mindlessly pass you by, fighting to right myself in the face of an ever changing tide of uncertainty————-umm, but I digress.

    Oceans are pretty.

    .

    • hahah – nice descriptions and metaphors! I hope you’re frolicking in the waves these days and that no washing machine vortexes get a hold of you.

  11. Is it emo-trite to quote a Jane’s Addiction song? (Ocean Size)
    (this isn’t my sum total of what the ocean means to me…but it’s an interesting notion)

    I was made with a heart of stone
    To be broken
    With one hard blow
    I’ve seen the ocean
    Break on the shore
    Come together with no harm done…

    I want to be more like the ocean
    No talking
    All action…
    No talking
    All action…

  12. To me the ocean means life and healing. When I was little, my mother, who was a nurse, always told me that the ocean would heal my cuts, scrapes and bruises. I’d immerse myself in the healing waters and always felt better. I guess that’s why I still walk along the shore when my soul needs to be refreshed…

  13. Hi Sheila,

    This is a lovely post and beautiful photos to complement! I remember swimming in the ocean when I was a teenager (many years ago) and “frying” on the sand. 🙂 Wonderful memories! I love the tranquility of the ocean, although, I prefer now to swim in lakes and rivers. But, there are times when going to the beach is the perfect idea! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  14. Hi Sheila…
    The ocean:
    is the lapping of the waves as they undulate in their movement toward me at sunrise~
    is the feel of sand sinking beneath my toes as I stand at the edge of the water~
    is bobbing in place in calm water, and then the RUSH of feeling as I bodysurf a large wave~
    is peace and serenity as I listen to the sounds, feel the sun, taste the salt, touch the silky sand, smell the scents, and see blue forever~

    Sheila….you LIVE on the Cape? My family camped near Dennis? Chatham? Not in Nickerson…but a small campground. The name will come to me someday! I adore the Cape! I’m insanely jealous! 😉 Your photos are wonderful! Thank you, thank you..for stopping by my blog!

    • That’s really beautiful and makes me wish for summer to be here soon! I’m glad you’ve been able to visit and camp out here. The only campground I can think of is Nickerson too. It’s a strange place to live year-round since it’s kind of a big sandbar but it has its moments. 🙂 Thank you for visiting – I love your photography – it’s really breathtaking.

      • I remember the name now! Griffith’s Ponds’ Campground. I think I looked up Griffith’s Ponds on a map not long ago, but I have no idea if the campground is still in operation. This was a lonnnng time ago! Our last visit to the Cape was in the 90’s (not camping)…and we planned to visit again this coming fall as part of a coastal crawl from Boston to Bar Harbor. Our former minister and his wife are now living full time in their Chatham home, as they are retired. I think anywhere by water would be wonderful. Like you said…the nearness to water creates changing looks, smells, feelings…it’s never the same. Loving your blog!

  15. From the earliest creatures that crawled from the ocean and evolved, pilgrims who were leaving something behind, explorers who claimed victory whenever they found anything, or my grandparents who came here to look forward to new opportunities, even to birth, water has always been the basis for life, growth and progress in one way or another.

  16. Hi Sheila, I really enjoyed this post, I miss the ocean. The last time I went to it was 23 years ago, can you believe that ! I’ve been wanting to go to Cape Cod for many years now, it’s so beautiful. Cape Cod is about 7 hours drive from where I live in Quebec, Canada, so it’s not that far.
    I discovered here a very interesting blog with beautiful photos. The photos of the Canyon are amazing !

  17. I live far away from the ocean, but I can understand how it inspires and motivates you to write. I live not far from one of the most majestic rivers in the world, so know what you mean. Love the picture with the bench and the horizon beyond…the hours you can sit there gazing into the distance…beautiful.

    • yes – sometimes rivers are even more peaceful than the ocean, especially when those ocean waves really start to kick up! I’m glad you liked the picture. It’s one of my favorites too.

  18. i live in the woods by a lake. in the summer it can get hot here even though there is a breeze coming from the lake. on certain days i escape to the bay, to cool off and escape that heat, i love the salty air and sea life.. delightful post

  19. Great post Sheila! It brought back waves of memories! My paternal ancestors sailed the great seas and oceans (era of the Conquistadores) and found my province irresistible and made it their home. i recently visited it on an alumni homecoming and once again enjoyed the sea and the calm splendor of the Pto.Princesa bay fronting our old home.

  20. Sheila,
    I LOVE the ocean! The smell of the air and the soothing sounds of the waves . . . heavenly! I brought over the, Very Inspiring Blogger Award http://wp.me/p1RzUf-NB. Please feel no obligation to carry on with it if you choose to decline. It’s hard to tell how other bloggers feel about these blog awards. Just wanted to say thank you and I’m happy we recently connected. Have a great day!

    • Thank you for visiting and bringing an award with you! 🙂 That’s really nice of you. They seem to be a good chance to recognize others and so I’ll accept and pass it on. Happy almost weekend!

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