Feeding a Ravenous Ocean

Every morning, as the sun is hinting at its rising, I take a walk down to the sea that swirls before me and surrounds this hump of land. Every single morning is different. It's the same ocean and same swath of sand, rocks, and dirt; but always a different configuration. After a particularly violent storm with matching high tides, the sea will take its pound of flesh, biting forcefully into the tenuous bridge of muddy sand that separates water from land. Large chunks of earth disappear in the night as if a tractor emerged out of the sea and dug two feet down and twenty feet wide.

Where there was once a large rotting tree trunk surrounded by sand and Rosa Rugosa, there is now an empty swath and a raw edge of flimsy earth. Tree roots and sandy dirt are suddenly exposed. The roots listing in the salty air. I used to come to this place and sit on that old tree trunk. Now, it was gone. I felt a huge loss; something significant had been taken away and I would have to adapt.


The first time I witnessed this, I understood the unequivocal fact that the earth is a living breathing organism. And when it is out of balance, it will reset that balance without emotion or favoritism. There is a not a day that goes by where I don't go to that place and bemoan the loss of that piece of earth.

It has been a few years since the tree trunk and its surroundings disappeared into the sea. Since then I have observed the continual give and take between water and land. While that tree trunk is forever gone, another has taken its place a few yards away. And the Rosa Rugosa has reappeared. It even bears a flower or two.

Painting in Space - On Mylar ; “What’s Old is New Again”; Lisa Kellner

Painting in Space - On Mylar; “What’s Old is New Again”; Lisa Kellner

I tried unsuccessfully to rebuild the earth in this spot. Only to have the sea undo my efforts. Last summer I painstakingly dug up large sand-embedded rocks and rolled them into place. The sea had its way with them, tossing them aside as if they were dice. I have decided to let things be. There is a greater force at work here and I have learned to appreciate its brutal strength. Each morning, I go down to the water and take it all in. A surge of emotion envelops me and I realize that I love it all.