He told me he was a whaler from Alaska, the boy I met at the Boat House on Baker Street. The one passing the time of day, waiting to board his ship again, playing with stray dogs.
He didn't say it, but . . . there. When he looks at you. You see it. He wants the sea again. Land without the waves, that love lasts for a little while. But the love for the land that isn't a land at all. That land. It's something to love indeed. It's cause enough for a man to leave the still land altogether, for big gleaming oceans and silky whales. Cause enough.
I asked him why he wanted to go back, why this hunt of whales on water, why this love for something he could not grasp.
The boy smiled.
"Why must you understand to love?" he said.
Ethan and I played the other day.
Yes. We still play.
He knocked on the door while I was cooking something and I thought he was a stranger. And he was like a stranger, bringing me things I had not thought of before.
The sea is like God.So wild and terrible, you never know it to be the same yet always the same. It's always there, right where you left it. And when you go back to it, its as though it never left you.
The sea will always take you, doesn't matter who you are. But you'll never come back the same.You might be dead, alive, with never a better understanding or a good understanding that you don't quite understand. But you won't be the same. Sea changes things. Changes you.
Cause the sea is like God.
God's hard to grasp, but He's easy to love, so easy to love. The beauty of Him is unequaled, like the sea. The wild, untamed, unknown majesty, with depths yet to be reached, this is God.
And I wonder, as I'm standing there, how a whaler boy knows so much, how he can speak so much to me and mean so much. He's just a whaler from Alaska. But after all, even boy whalers mean something.
Play-moments don't happen when you want them to.
They come like leaves flowing down a stream. And when they do come, it's the grandest thing.