Sea Fever

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.
— John Masefield
Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California

I woke up this morning with the first line of this poem running through my head, as if it began while I was still asleep. I did dream of the sea. I'm in a place in my life where I feel a continual need to cleanse. No, I do not take extra showers (we are in a major drought after all). I mean a cleanse of my spirit, a clean slate, tabula rasa as I learned for my first phrase in my first Latin class years ago. There is this urge—coming from where I know not—to purge, make room, get ready. I also do not know what I am to be making room for but I welcome its coming. Like the still sea before the next wave, I welcome the impending deluge.