An old Man and the Sea

Contemplating the eternal sea

Contemplating the eternal sea

The last couple of days we were staying at the shore of the mighty Pacific Ocean. The constantly rolling surf creates its own rhythm. Like our hearts it  beats faster or slower according to circumstances.

Why do we go to the edge of the ocean? I think there is something primaeval in our urge to go and see Mother Ocean. That its where all life on Earth originated. We are land animals now, but have not forgotten where we came from. The  Amniotic fluid is not dissimilar to sea water and points to our development from marine to land animals.

Waves smashing onto rocks

Waves smashing onto rocks

One can see  the power of the sea while observing the waves smashing onto rocks,  which are the remnants of a fiery, volcanic past. In earlier times the beach was often the starting point for a fishing exercise. Boats took off with cooperating males as crew. In other parts of the world this is still being done.

Here, where we live on the South Coast of NSW, in the Illwarra, the beach is mainly used for recreational activities. One can see not only  surfers but also driftwood.


It too is a witness to a former life as a tree, from who knows where from. The edge of the ocean, the beach, is the result of the changing nature on our planet. Next morning it was gone. Drifting, of course to another destination.

Recreational users of the beach will be well familiar with a flag that symbolises so much of Australian life. It is the Life Saver’s Flag  telling all it is save to surf between the two flags.




When walking along the beach one can see other elderly people contemplating. Contemplating what? Their lives, our lives. life on Earth, where it will all end? Only  a couple of weeks ago there was a report and even a video why water disappeared from the surface of Mars. I think we don’t have to worry about it right now.


Caspar David Friedrich like is a man looking at the sea flanked by two young Morfolk Pines

Here is a man, Caspar David Friedrich like,  looking at the sea flanked by two young Norfolk Pines

That was last night and the setting sun turned the haze that had settled over the landscape into a mysterious veil.



In the morning, a new dawn broke and prepared a new setting all together. I was thinking, not at all morbidly, if all live came out of the ocean perhaps we should be returned to the sea when we die. I know, at funerals the clergies like to tell us, that we were made from dust  and to dust we will return. But wouldn’t it make more sense to return us to the sea  where all life originated?

I looked at the rising sun over the ocean  and decided, I would like that when my time comes.







10 thoughts on “An old Man and the Sea

  1. Well done Peter. With age comes philosophy and time for contemplation. We don’t have to catch a bus at 6.45am to go to work. Retirement has its advantages. Loved your post and photos. The Pig’s Arms blog is getting to me. I might give it a miss.

  2. fabulous photographs berlioz! I sometimes wish i could live right on an ocean beach! i love ocean so so much 🙂

    you are one lucky guy! hope you relished and cherished your time.

  3. Aunty Uta and I, we do appreciate our luck. I’m sure Aunty thanks her God for it. I cherish and relish our time on Earth, here in Australia very much. Australia is free of religious or sectarian strife. It is nature that is the challenge and this unites people.

    Materially, we live “the good life”. Politically, Australia is a Kindergarten. We live very insular. No enemy threatens our borders. But the government tries to tell us we are under threat from some poor people that come from across the sea.

    When I read your blog, dear Sharmishtha, I appreciate very much living in Australia. The struggle to survive is in your home country much, much tougher than here.

  4. Wholeheartedly agree with everything everyone has written here.
    What is true for Australia is true for Great Britain too. Despite a recession that’s been going on for a few years, we are very lucky and should thank the gods.

  5. Wonderful, expansive photos, like taking a good deep breath. Thinking of the role of water, you might enjoy Elaine Morgan’s The Descent of Woman, suggesting an aquatic evolution for the human species. Outdated now, and written partly as a serious joke after the presumptions in Bronowski’s Ascent of Man and Desmond Morris’s The Naked Ape, but an interesting and amusing read.

      • I’m sure I read African Genesis – but too long ago to remember much. I find Jared Diamond’s writing on the biological substrates of human behaviour good, too.

    • It can be harsh and unforgiving. Australia is an ancient continent and demands respect. People are out to plunder the land and the sea around it.

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