The Angry Sea

The ocean was angry this morning. Not from a distance. The glimpses I have of her from the street, as I begin Tucker’s morning walk were normal and calm. When I got right up to her, though, she was ranting and raving and pounding the shoreline like a mad woman. To be a fishing boat out there today would be suicide.

A seagull looked passively on, as if she does this all the time. He stood quiet and still on the rocks she was pummeling, but then suddenly took off into the air, crying his melancholy song. He dove into the raging sea, and professionally plucked some food right out of her grasp. Impressive. What is the ocean so angry about? There’s not a hint of wind causing this behavior, my hair isn’t moving. The sun is shining and the Olympic mountains have popped out of the horizon like a photograph.  Maybe she’s angry at me? At us.

I’m standing at Fleming Beach, which closes once each week when Victoria’s sewage releases into this bay untreated. It’s unsafe for the dogs to swim there that day. The city posts a sign. Maybe she’s angry about that. I watched a debate in this harbour about why the Killer Whales are disappearing: is it salmon fishermen or oil tankers?  Somehow she’s attached to that beach in Mumbai we walked down, where garbage is bulldozed into the ocean daily. Her coral is dying, her fish depleted. Maybe she’s reacting to that?



Or maybe this isn’t anger at all. Maybe Mother Nature is excited, and the ocean is where we can watch it. What is excitement after all if not electrons jumping gleefully from their orbit from the heat of climate change. What’s not to be excited about when you’re growing larger and more powerful every day. How bright is your future when your worst enemy is close, relatively speaking to extinction.  Maybe this is the ocean’s happy dance, the start of her farewell wave that will just grow bigger and bigger until it overwhelms our species.

Maybe it’s none of that. Maybe it’s just the tide, and an offshore wind that hasn’t reached me yet. I watch a fishing boat pull up to the dock, as if nothing is happening, the harbour seals following it hoping for a snack. Time for Tucker and I to head home. I love my morning walks in Victoria.


The Crossing
Happy Solstice

3 Responses to The Angry Sea

  1. They really release untreated sewage into the ocean?!?!

    Mary Greber December 17, 2018 at 8:38 am Reply
  2. HA, LOVE it Donna, if we went extinct wouldn’t that be a marvel. I always tell Landlubbers they would be shocked if they saw how the salmon fishermen treated the ocean and this was from 1980 and up to now with all our visits to the coast of BC, Washington, and Oregon. Witnessed first hand the dying coral along the islands of Thailand but also witnessed how their boats dragged those crazy engines they use like a whipper sniper along the bottom of the coral bed. Very sad.

    Nancy December 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm Reply

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