1951 – Age2½
These rocks form jetties. A jetty is “a pier or other structure projecting into a body of water to influence the current or tide or protect a harbor or shoreline”. I cannot recall a childhood summer without remembering the role that jetties played.
Because of jetties, I learned to swim in the ocean. Even when the water beyond the jetties was rough, the water between the jetties was usually calm enough for a young child to be able to learn the crawl, the backstroke, the breaststroke, and the sidestroke.
1964 – Age 15
Because of jetties, I learned that the ocean supported many forms of life. Periwinkles, hermit crabs, minnows, and starfish were abundant along the shoreline. At low tide, it was possible to dig for clams or quahogs. Just beyond the jetties, a variety of different colored buoys marked the location of lobster pots. The jetties also provided a platform for fishing; standing at the end of a jetty, it was possible to cast a line out into a deeper channel.
1969 – Age 20
Because of jetties, I had a safe spot to moor my Sunfish, a small sailboat. I enjoyed many, many wonderful hours sailing on Buzzards Bay – sometimes with my sister, sometimes with my college friends, and sometimes by myself. Being out on the ocean gave me a sense of peace and connection to all of the universe. This sense of peace was enhanced by the knowledge that when I was ready to return, there was a safe harbor awaiting me.
1978 – Age 29 and Age 2
Because of jetties, I had a place to see life come full circle as my young daughter learned to swim. I had the privilege of showing her the magic of the ocean, sharing a special place for finding peace and harmony, and conveying the meaning of a safe harbor. These are foundational values for me, and now, in 2015, they are values she wants to pass on to her daughter.
What are your foundational values? How can we all be jetties for one another?