In case you haven’t noticed, Northern Hemisphere folks, we’re smack dab in the middle of the “Dog Days” of summer. Translation: it’s fucking HOT. It’s times like these when we seek relief from the heat, and one of my favourite remedies is to get into the sea. To me, the sea is at once a place of peace and passion. Of nurturing and wildness/danger. Of simplicity and the deepest complexities. Like sex.
As I lay in bed this morning in that half-awake/half-asleep state, the sea whispered in my ear, “Come hither to me.” Actually, it was more like, “Come here NOW!” and you can’t dis’ the sea, so I immediately went. On my way through town, I passed by a woman with a violin, who was playing and singing (quite beautifully and hauntingly), Habanera, the famous Carmen aria sometimes referred to as “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle.” It couldn’t have been more perfect for what I’d find at the water, since we know that l’amour is often a frickin’ oiseau rebelle – whether it’s love with another person, love with your beloved-but-fickle pet, or love with the sea and its ever-shifting moods.
As I approached the beach, it was quite windy and the surf was turbulent. This was not going to be a day for floating. Once I dropped my towel and 8,365 SPF sun block on the sand, I ran to the sea’s edge as I’m compelled to do as though it were a lover. But I knew I’d have to step in carefully. I went in slowly so I could get a feel for the undercurrents, the danger, the possibilities. It tossed me around a bit – it was like we had something to work out.
As I got in deeper, I knew I’d have to keep my feet planted firmly (well, as firmly as one can plant one’s feet in the sea). I let it tumble me about. It let me kneel. It battered me with warm, soft foam, but I knew I could trust it as it still let me lean into it without knocking me on my ass. Sometimes I don’t ever want to get out and must force myself to leave – as though not being with it and immersed in it is contrary to my very being. So once I knew we’d worked it out, I reluctantly pulled myself out and fell onto my blanket, out of breath, and let the sun air-dry me.
Today, the sea manhandled me as I like a lover to sometimes do. It reminded me that there’s a full moon on the rise. Tonight’s full moon is called the Full Sturgeon Moon. Native American tribes used to name each full moon in order to keep track of the seasons and sturgeon were the fish that were readily caught right about this time of year. The rise and fall of tides occurs because, quite simply, Earth and the moon are attracted to each other. While the Earth is able to hold onto most of its stuff due to gravity, the moon is able to pull at our waters. And during each full moon – like right now – the high tides are at their highest. Are your high tides at their highest, too? Is your libido overflowing? Are your urges more urgent?
I’d like to think that it was the August full moon of 1924 that inspired Pablo Neruda’s Love Sonnet XII:
“Full woman, fleshly apple, hot moon…” INDEED!
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