World Oceans DayHow I do love the ocean!  World Oceans Day seemed a perfect time to remember and appreciate my deep, early, nourishing, ongoing, and rich love and experiences of the ocean.  One of my most precious memories is when, as a very young kiddo, my dad took me “out past the breakers,” the white breaking part of the waves.  (We were at Point O’ Woods, a family oriented community on the Atlantic Ocean, that is deeply connected to my love of oceans.)  It was palpable, and literal, that my dad had my back, that he was there as support and protection.  Together we could go out in to the big, wide world, and have adventures :-).  My dad passed on to me his deep and lasting love, and respect, for the ocean, then and there.  

Apropos big adventures, another living memory was the day my brother, Jim, and I (now in our 30ies), went out into the huge waves after a storm had raged. They waves were smooth, gorgeous, and looked like it would be so thrilling to ride those waves, feel the power.  Well, it was thrilling, but it was also very cold.  And once out there, I was so scared, and getting colder by the minute, that I might not have made it out to shore again without Jim’s help.  But we did it, and afterwards it was a great satisfaction to have experienced the ocean in this mode.  Other sweet recollections: doing the mile swim with the Flotsam and Jetsam Club; standing and letting the ocean sink me deeper and deeper into the sand; building sand castles, digging tunnels and seeing the water fill them up… and so much more.  Take a few moments to watch these lovely minute meditations of the waves on my beloved Fire Island.

Minute Meditations: Watch the waves from the Atlantic

I just learned that it was Canada that made the original proposal for World Oceans Day in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The day has been unofficially celebrated every June 8 since then, and, in 2008, the United Nations officially recognized it. Since then, World Oceans Day has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network. These organizations say it has greater success and global participation each year.  

So … why a World Oceans Day? Here’s a really good reason:  it goes back to Sylvia Earle, who is a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence and perhaps the world’s most recognized living oceanographer. Among other things, Earle says: “I think of the ocean as the blue heart of the planet.” And she says, “We, too, are sea creatures.”  And there is the fact that seen from up and above, the world really is mostly blue!  Check out this cool animation where Earle urges us to think about World Oceans Dayhow much we depend on the oceans, and to protect them from pollution and overfishing.

 Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)
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