“For the sea lies all about us. The commerce of all lands must cross it. The very winds that move over the lands have been cradled on its broad expanse and seek ever to return to it. The continents themselves dissolve and pass to the sea, in grain after grain of eroded land. So the rains that rose from it return again in rivers.
In its mysterious past it encompasses all the dim origins of life and receives in the end, after, it may be, many transmutations, the dead husks of that same life.
For all at last return to the sea–to Oceanus, the ocean river, like the ever-flowing stream of time, the beginning and the end.”
– Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us–
Today is 107th Birthday of Rachel Carson, the marine biologist who wrote ‘The Sea Around Us‘. I remember clearly how I came across this book: I was preparing a case study paper on the PR damage control of Exxon spill and somehow this book was one of the things I pulled out of the University Library.
Still not my favourite book by a long shot, but I did buy it when I came across it again. I think this is one of the books that one needs to have around the house, if only for it be passed along to our progeny one day. While the book did not enthrall me as much as it seemed to enthrall others, I am aware enough to appreciate the implication set in the book and to realize that this was a scientific treaty masked in beautiful prose.
Basically, the book posits that all life on Earth starts from the ocean and thus to the ocean it will return. And therefore by extension, how important it is that we keep the sea healthy. She makes a very convincing case. After all, this planet is 70% water and it is scary how we are so insouciant about the health of one of Earth’s most important lifeline.
I’m lucky to be in a City where the beautiful sea is only 10 minutes drive away, but I was raised in country where clear blue water is not the norm.
I hope one day we don’t leave a world where our future generation will only see how beautiful nature is…in pixel form.
“And then, as never on land, he knows the truth that his world is a water world, a planet dominated by its covering mantle of ocean, in which the continents are but transient intrusions of land above the surface of the all encircling sea.” – Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us–