The Oceans’ Waves, Our Little Lives.

I’ve been kicking around this thought ever since my vacation a few weeks ago. I was walking along the Jersey shore where I love the sights and sounds of the beach and boardwalk. I get my enjoyable entertainment with my daughter in a commercial and natural way…embracing rides and games along with the joys of nature, via the ocean. While I love playing skill cranes and going on rides with her, I also enjoy just hanging on the beach down by the waves while she plays in the ocean. But this time, it got me thinking.

My daughter and I in Cape May, New Jersey
My daughter and I in Cape May, New Jersey


As I was watching the waves at my feet, I kind of got lost in time. The waves just kept coming. And going. Back and forth, as they forever do…to that point where if you stand in one place long enough you slowly sink into the sand. And I thought of a popular (and brief!) poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow while this was happening, “The Tide Rises, and The Tide Falls”. Here is the middle of the three stanzas:


Darkness settles on roofs and walls,

But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;

The little waves, with their soft, white hands,

Efface the footprints in the sands,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.


“Efface” means to erase or wipe away, as was happening with my footprints. But I thought about how I got this chance to reflect while watching the ocean, and as I was thinking about my problems, I felt that passage of time. It keeps going. Good…bad, time just keeps on going, like the waves. Endlessly.


It just made me think a little easier about my problems, whether it was to let some things go, or say that some won’t go away, and I need to handle them (slight coming back to “efface”). In the classic sense of a Romantic Period poem (as this one is), connecting with nature helped me get a little more in-touch with myself.

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One Response to “The Oceans’ Waves, Our Little Lives.”

  1. Jim Perovich Sr.

    Very thought provoking.