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Gifts from the Sea

I love the ocean.  I am drawn to its shores more often than I get to physically visit.  The sound of the waves crashing is soothing to my noisy life.  The foamy, white, caps of the waves seem to soften the crash and offer a friendly greeting.  The gulls shrilling in the distance, the pelicans swooping into the blue, the dolphins playing with no regard for the troubles of life, and the boats dotting the distance are all such wonderful friends of mine!  God is amazing. 

 The world is full of His wonder but perhaps no where is it more visible than at the water’s edge.  I wrote the following poem, just before sunset one evening when I was alone, standing on a pier listening to live music and watching people enjoy the shore.



Gifts from the Sea

By: Renée Parris


Little children play on your shores.

Young love is whispered and carried on the wind.

Friendships deepen, families bond, lovers love.

All the while we live unaware of the innate power

this body of water has on our human hearts and eternal souls.


The shrill of gulls and crash of waves lull our minds

Aligning the beating of our hearts into a rhythm,

Matching the Creator of this inexplicable gift.

A reminder of His magnificence and grandeur

yet simplicity in touching us individually.


Oft in a midnight stroll, hearts are shared and dreams are born.

Class and race, age and wealth, are all erased at your shores.

Your gifts are equal and without discrimination.

Joy and smiles, laughter and tears;

These don’t understand diversity, only unity.


Young lads, surf boards in tow, try to conquer your waves;

Trying to mount your magnificence, but ill-equipped to withstand one riptide.

Yet, your grace smiles as they rise and enjoy brief seconds of a triumphant ride.

Horses gallop through your sand, sharing space and time

With humans who long to be close to you.


Standing before you musicians play,

Blending voice and instrument, to the gentle, roaring background of your voice.

What irony to believe that the thunderous roar of your voice

Could match the frail beat of our human cadence.

Yet here, we feel one with you.


Sails in the distance jostle my mind awake

As I contemplate the voyage that is mine alone.

Drifting on this sea of life, what is my compass?

Do I follow the course charted or do I assume a turn at the wheel?

My vessel rises and falls to the cadence of waves that come my way.



How can something as simple as water draw so many of us to its shore,

Doing a work of restoration to our souls?

Here, we dream of new beginnings as we watch broken dreams

Ride the waves and return to the sea.

The billows bear hope of a fresh start, a second chance.


You’ve given us incalculable hours of laughter and fun

As we innocently run through your sands,

Picking up little treasures you bring in with the tide;

Rocks and shells that we carry away as reminders of our time with you,

Lasting gifts from the moments we shared.


Keep giving to us, for we need you and we will return.

Opening ourselves to receive more of the gifts

That you selflessly stand ready to offer.

You are alone in your grandeur as you inhabit this place where

Humanity meets creation in a way that solely exists at the sea.


Written at Oceanic Pier

703 South Lumina Avenue

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

7/28/09, 6:30 pm


These are two of the gifts I most enjoy at the ocean: my husband, Michael, and our amazing son, Spencer!  They share my love for the sea, as does our daughter, Emma.  Each time we get a new foster child, we take them to the beach as soon as we can.  We think everyone should experience God’s amazing gift of the ocean! 

With all my heart,



About Renee Parris

I write to share the message of grace God has so generously splattered on the pages of my life. My heart beats strongly with love for my husband, children, and those God has placed in my path. I adore the world God has created for us to explore. My heart beats to share, through written words and pictures, my love for nature and the people I meet on this beautiful journey called life.

2 responses »

  1. dianne mckinney

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem. I grew up a “navy brat.” I love the sea…its smells…its sounds!! Sweet memories!!

  2. Love the water, walking along the beach, being “still” and letting God speak through the wind and water; can’t stand the sand, though. Well, maybe if it would stay where it’s supposed to be ….


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