When I was a child, on the north west coast of England, facing out into the Irish Sea, waves were my gods. I didn’t understand then that they were in thrall to gravity. I assumed that they moved with as much purpose as power, endlessly crashing against the walls we built to hold them back, knowing that, one day, they would break through and claim the land.
Standing, braced against the wind that drove them, I gave myself to those waves, letting them saturate me with their sharp salt scent and deafen me with their roar. It seemed to me then that they were the heartbeat of the world.
Now I find myself as restless as those waves and I understand that power lies not in motion but in purpose.
I see now that the waves I once worshiped have no agency, no will, no purpose of their own. Called by the moon and driven by the wind, they crash against the shore because they have nowhere else to go. They are not the heartbeat of the world but rather its lament; the mournful cry of power without purpose.
I have lived that kind of life: always in motion but never in control of my destination. I have never landed on the shores I’ve flung myself against. I’ve ebbed away from life on land and let myself be driven to yet another coast.
I can feel that it is about to happen again. I have been too long in one place. My skin itches. My heart feels the pull of the moon. The beauty of where I live, the comfort and security that it offers, are not enough for me to stand against the moon’s call. Soon I will be gone from here, rushing towards another shore.
This time, I hope to find myself beached in some coastal rock pool, where the moon has no power and I can discover what I am when I am no longer ridden by the tide..