I ran across a lovely quote today.
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." -- Antoine de Saint Exupery
It made me remember my favourite poem when I was 16, the one I scribed in painstakingly neat marker on my previously inviolable bookshelf, the one I painted for my senior quote that year - a small sailboat, mast pointing to a single star above it in a black, black sky, with the second line of the poem lettered into the waves. I loved this poem not because I loved the sea, but because I knew what it was like to love something like this poem loves the sea.
I must go down to the sea 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;
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls 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 a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trip's over.
--"Sea Fever," by John Masefield
And now I know what it is like to love the endless sea so much that you'll come back to land to pass that yearning for the sea to someone else.