One of the loveliest things about strolling along the beach is finding seashells. Some of them call out to you, with a little coy glimmer or a slight beckoning and irresistible sigh. “Come, take me home with you, let me adorn your shelves, let me remind you of the sea and its beauty every day” they whisper. And others even more beguiling, “For you, I have made the arduous journey and stranded myself upon this shore! Do not leave here without me.” Alas, what heartless soul does not succumb to the romance of seashells?
Like seashells, poems too find their own ways of surfacing into our meandering minds and our wanderlust—just at the very precise moment we need them. Our wayfaring souls are steered by poetry and seashells alike.
Here is a poem by Khalil Gribran which articulates an inevitable journey to the sea, to the ocean of becoming. And on the eve of 2022, and of all the unknown ahead, I pause on its sandy shore and watch the waves rolling in. Shall I walk back now to the familiar comforts of my faraway motherland, or shall I plunge into this ocean, this unknowable depth with a million and one shades of blue—unabashed, without reserve, naked, and wholeheartedly?
Fear It is said that before entering the sea a river trembles with fear. She looks back at the path she has traveled, from the peaks of the mountains, the long winding road crossing forests and villages. And in front of her, she sees an ocean so vast, that to enter there seems nothing more than to disappear forever. But there is no other way. The river can not go back. Nobody can go back. To go back is impossible in existence. The river needs to take the risk of entering the ocean because only then will fear disappear, because that’s where the river will know it’s not about disappearing into the ocean, but of becoming the ocean. Khalil Gibran