Dear Ocean (An Open Letter)

Dear Ocean (An Open Letter)

Happy World Oceans Day!

Today I thought about how I could convey my feelings about the ocean, so I figured I’d write an open letter to the ocean.

Dear ocean,

I’ve known you my whole life… and to be honest, I’ve always seen you as kind of intimidating. I knew that everyone loved you and you seemed to make a lot of people happy, and you made me happy too, but I had also heard stories that you could be scary. You seemed moody—completely calm one day, and violent the next. Whenever I’d approach you, you’d wave but I didn’t know enough to read your language and didn’t want to get caught in your currents.

I didn’t fully appreciate you. I moved away to the desert for school and immersed myself in a different type of world, far from you. But it didn’t feel right. I felt like a fish out of water. I would swim in swimming pools and visit water parks, but it just wasn’t the same. The closest I could get to being near you was river tubing in the desert. I came home in the summers and would come visit you more and more, feeling refreshed, and I realized that I had taken you for granted. Oddly enough, I hadn’t known what it was like to be homesick until I moved back home after university. I told myself I would only be back on the island for a year or two, then it turned to three, four… now five years back home. And now I can’t imagine my life not being near you.

You connect us all. Over the years, I’ve also met a bunch of really cool and interesting people because of you. Everyone talked highly of you. I thought it was funny that they seemed to know you way better than I did, even though I grew up with you and they just met you. They helped me get to know you better. We went on fun way out adventures to see a different side of you. And I finally got scuba certified so I could be completely immersed in your side of the world.

I’ve learned to understand you better, how to read your language, how to approach you. Now I have a deeper appreciation for all that you do for us. You are home for the millions and billions of species, known and unknown. You are a source of food for a huge chunk of the world’s human population. You are a keystone in our economy, and have always been since the dawn of time probably. And you are a source of enjoyment and healing for me, and so many others out there that have come to know you.

But dear ocean, are we doing right by you? I’ve always respected you, knowing better than to leave trash by the beach where your tides will take them. But there’s more to it than that. Am I doing enough to show you how how much I value you and all that you care for? I can see now that you’re doing your best to be a home for those who have been around for millenniums, to maintain a healthy balance, and to be a source of life for all who need you. You are so kind to give us what you can, to provide for us even when we take you for granted. I’m working on being better. And so many others are too. We’ve known you forever, but we seem to know more about space than we do about you. I’m hopeful that my generation will do better.

Sincerely yours,