Just as the wave cannot exist for itself,
but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean,
so must I never live my life for itself,
but always in the experience which is going on around me.
~ Albert Schweitzer
In my last post, I mentioned the pleasure of just enjoying Acadia National Park, of sitting on the warm rocks and being in the moment.
One thing that really encouraged this was the sound of the ocean surf. It was very loud and drowned out everything else, from other people talking and laughing to my own thoughts banging around in my head. Listening to the ocean is timeless and many have written about it. I doubt much has changed in Acadia in the last 50 years – the trees are undoubtedly bigger and there’s probably more facilities for tourists to use. But the rocks, the ocean, the mountains – they’ve been there for a long, long time and will continue to be there for years into the future.
It wasn’t hard relaxing, closing my eyes, and just listening to the surf hit the rocks over and over again. There was a rhythm to it – several soft waves, the water barely lapping the rocks. Then a strong wave would come in, making a bigger sound against the rocks. This might happen once or twice, then the water drew back and sent a hard wave, the water spraying all up and over. Sometimes it ran along the edges of the rocks, curling and twisting up and back down again. Then the wave would soften, and the cycle would start again.
I put together several videos to share of the waves and the noise as they came to share. It’s pretty loud and you might have to turn down the volume on your computer. The first clip has a photographer in the far right corner – oh look! my favorite boy toy! The second clip is the same Sand Beach, but a close up of the water only. The noise is even louder on this. The third is from the rocks that are along the Oceanview Trail, between Sand Beach and Otter Point. It’s not as loud – the wind wasn’t as strong that day.
The three great elemental sounds in nature are
the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood,
and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.
~ Henry Beston