“The sea snail slithered all over the rock
And gazed at the sea and the ships in the dock.
And as she gazed she sniffed and sighed,
“The sea is deep and the world is wide!
How I long to sail!”
Said the tiny snail.”
~ Julia Donaldson, The Snail and the Whale
At the beginning of the year, I found myself complaining about our house perhaps a bit too much, finding faults in pretty much everything, including the ceiling. I know that when I complain about the house, I do not really complain about the house – but about a lack of time and breathing space, generally about being overwhelmed. It’s intriguing how our attitudes to our spaces often reflect the states of our souls, don’t they?
Early in January we drove to Devon to spend a weekend with family and while being there we headed towards the sea, to Dawlish Warren. Maybe even to remind ourselves what it is to experience vast open spaces and the freedom that they offer. Winter sea air is wonderful for taking deep lung-stretching breaths and for carefree runs towards the sea. The runs are necessary if, just like a very curious three-year old, you want to find out where the beach sand is soft enough for your feet (or shoes) to sink in.
There are many attitudes that we can develop towards our personal spaces, we can project ourselves on to them, but the sea is too great and too majestic for us to do it and as a result it projects its greatness and dignity on us. That is why, having seen the sea, we come back to our homes with greater respect, awe and appreciation of ourselves and the whole humanity.