“All the diamonds in this world that mean anything to me
are conjured up by wind and sunlight,
sparkling on the sea.
I ran aground in a harbor town, lost the taste for being free…
Thank God he sent some gull chased ship
to carry me to sea.
What happens to this man when he finds himself having to live without the ocean? He tells us of his longing and emptiness when he says, “…lost the taste for being free.” How can someone lose the taste for being free?
What I think happens is that he makes himself believe that he lost the taste for the ocean because otherwise he would be inconsolable having to live on the land. I imagine that he finds a trade, has relations, and accumulates his possessions just like everyone else in this town.
I am sure that he finds satisfaction in life; he loves, he laughs and he plays; but as the song shows us he never loses the taste for his soul, he just forgets. The same can happen for ourselves. Our attachments to our house, our trade, our possessions and the life we thought we should make dissolves when we are reunited with our soul. This is something that we are all bound to discover when our ship finally comes into the harbor.
The man’s longing for the ocean and the oceans longing for the man, are really the same. They are both one part of something bigger. One completes the other, but they don’t know it without first being lost to each other.
I read recently some writing by Bronnie Ware. She was contemplating her work in hospice care for the dying. She talked about how people at the end of their life have similar regrets. These were the top four:
"1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier."
How many times each day do you miss your boat? Life holds hundreds of opportunities for you to let go, love or choose joy. You can do this just where you are , just by choosing to dance, or laugh, or to be silly or play. Take the time to tell those people you love that you love them.
Get on the boat. I will be waiting for you!