May 22, 2020 by Cláudia
I’ve always loved the beach. Not so much on the hottest days nor necessarily during the Summer. Not really the lying on the beach towel and tanning part.
I often go to the beach just to breathe in some ocean breeze, hear the waves and play with the sand. Simple pleasures.
From an early age, I felt the beach as a profound way to be more connected to the natural elements. To pause and refresh. To breathe more deeply and calmly. To get away from the day to day stress.
The past couple of years, though, when I’m at the beach, I cannot help but feel a twinge of sadness. Or rather, melancholy.
Maybe I am already mourning a loss that is certain yet that has not already happened. Half of the beaches around the world will likely disappear until the end of the century. And in just a couple of years, the drastic reduction in the beaches I know so well is already heartbreakingly noticeable.
Maybe now I also see the ocean more clearly. Not as a beacon of calmness but as a force of nature that is not under human control. The same force that provides me with an unparalleled place of calmness and introspection, is the one that mercilessly swallowed thousands of refugees trying to escape war and misery. The same force that houses countless of unique and fascinating biodiversity, is the one that furiously engulfs property and fields leaving people homeless or without their livelihood. The ocean can be a symbol of destruction as much as calmness.
Staring at the sea used to be a source of calmness and mindfulness. It still is. But now this infinite body of water also leaves me with some uneasiness and especially humility.
I am so small. We all are. The sea is vast and powerful and we are small and fragile.
A future dictated by climate disruption is a future in which the ocean will sometimes be ruthless towards humankind. The ocean will submerge the land to millions, who’ll have to roam for new land to settle in. Water will flood, drown and destroy.
Yet, I cannot be mad at the sea.
The sea exists at a different dimension than us. It moves at a different time. We are irrelevant to it. The sea doesn’t need our protection. It existed before us and it will exist far beyond.
I don’t anthropomorphize natural elements anymore. Natural forces are not good or bad. They just are.
It’s us humans that can choose our path.
All these thoughts reminded me of this video: