Twenty years ago I chose to memorize John Masefield’s Sea Fever for an assignment in school. I’m fairly confident my choice was based on how easy I perceived the poem would be, rather than any desire to be near the sea. I can picture myself reciting each line to my patient teacher, but otherwise it hadn’t made much of an impression on me.
2016 was rough, but I was able to leave a part of my past in the past forever, finally. My debt. Specifically my student loans. I finally became debt free last year and it is an amazing feeling. Payday is a celebration now instead of a painful reminder of past obligations which were carelessly signed for. I learned a lot from debt, and I am glad to move on to a new teacher.
To celebrate my financial freedom, and my Dad’s retirement, our family went on a vacation to New Zealand. Honestly it felt like going home. A lot has changed during the six years since my last visit, but what hasn’t changed is the way and pace of life. I can’t really explain it, so I won’t try; you’ll just have to experience it yourself. ☺
Now that we’re back, my family can’t stop talking about NZ to everyone who will listen, much like I did (and still do). They get it now; what I was so excited about, and why I’m still trying to find my way back.
Texas has been a good home to me, but it isn’t home. It’s just one of many, not the first; just the place I’ve lived the longest, which is hardly the best criteria for establishing one’s home. It’s much too flat here, and much too dry here. I was born between the mountains and the sea.
I saw a poem hanging on the wall of our beachfront apartment in Ahipara, NZ. The name and the author weren’t familiar to me, but the first line was all I needed to jog my memory. Twenty years later and I finally understand.
Sea Fever by John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.