If we were to travel into outer space and look down upon our world, we'd see an expanse of blue. Perhaps the link between blue and our planet is why it's the most common response to the question, "what's your favourite colour?". Our oceans make up so much of our globe, it's also not surprising that we can take them for granted.
To highlight their significance, the United Nations has designated June 8th as World Oceans Day.
The word 'ocean' conjures up many feelings, thoughts, and metaphors. Such vast quantities of water can represent adventure, the hidden or unexplored, other worlds, and depth.
Many of us gravitate toward the seashore when looking for a place to unwind, recover from challenges, take stock of things, and centre ourselves.
The ocean is used as an example to represent the human mind by many people who teach meditation. The surface is busy with many waves moving about, much like the thoughts running through our mind, carrying us away with them. As we go deeper within, things become more still and calm. This brings to mind the common saying, 'still waters run deep'.
One of my favourite poets, Maya Angelou, referenced the ocean in one of the stanzas of her famous poem, Still I Rise:
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
The ocean is vast. Its depths reveal many treasures: coral reefs, marine life, even relics from humanity's past, such as shipwrecks. Many stories have included the sea as a setting, or even a character, in their plot. Classics include:
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- The Silent World by Jacques Cousteau
- The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
- Log From the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
- The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch
- The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
Our seven seas vary in size, depth, and climate. However, they're all currently being inundated with pollutants from several sources. Land pollution runoff from farms, motor vehicles and even air pollution. Cruise ship sewage (blackwater), greywater and scrubber washwater. Oilspills and nuclear power plant leakage. Of course, there's also the issues of plastic flowing into our oceans and overfishing.
It can be daunting to consider the various threats to our largest bodies of water; however, educating ourselves is part of the solution. The more we learn, the better off we are in making more informed choices.
Thank you for spending a few minutes with us to honour and appreciate our oceans.
Wishing you a week filled with peace, kindness, and beauty.