“I wish you a kinder sea” wrote Emily Dickinson in a letter to a friend. For years, that quote came to my head in the form of a thought, trying to understand what exactly is “a kinder sea”. I often imagined the Mexican shore with raising waves according to the moon, and wondered how a sea can be kind…..
Then I came to Finland, and discovered that Finnish beaches have very little similarities with the ones I was used to see. Ironically, I came up with a few adjectives to describe it, but never used the word “kind”. The revelation came almost after a year of living in Turku, when my friend L invited some of us to her summer cottage. The moment I planted my feet in the big rocks above that sea that looked like a lake, I knew it was gonna be a special time.
The one night we spent there was enough to fill up my lungs with clean(er) air, emptying my head of useless thoughts and self doubts, replacing them with gratitude and certainties. I got to see the sunset while seated in a row boat, with the water reflecting the colours of the sky, and when back to the cottage, we decided it was time to enter the sauna, jumping in the sea when our bodies couldn’t take the heat anymore.
I sat alone on the big rocks the next morning, looking at the water, no sounds, except for a light breeze. The quiet immensity of that sea gave me the kind of peace I had never experienced before, and the thought came like a gentle whisper: I wish you a kinder sea.
Although Emily Dickinson lived in Massachussets and never went to the beach, she understood that a kinder sea is much more than steady water: is something you carry under your skin…
I don’t know if Finns are aware of how lucky they are, for having summer cottages in hills above the sea, and often think the world would be a better place if we all had one. What I do know, is that my Mexican restless soul found a long awaited answer in the quietness of the Finnish sea, and for that, I will be eternally grateful.