by Yusuf Zaidi '20, Loomis Chaffee School
Is there anything more euphonious and serene than a harbor? The waves of the harbor come day and night, playing music better than a Juilliard master. The sea never tires, never misses a beat, and, through brilliant days and darkest nights, the percussion of the shore persists––a lullaby to the ear. Even the boats generate some form of music as they bob and creak, clinging on to the piers for dear life like a seal’s calf. The water moves softly around my outstretched fingers as they gently strum the fluid. I pull my hand out and observe the drops of water, both transparent and opaque simultaneously. They fall as if snatched by gravity to the saline below, each one swiftly haloed, distorting the pebble seabed. The sun illuminates the water, revealing rays of light that dance across the surface––perhaps they too hear the music. Suddenly the yellow ball of fire changes to hues of orange, and then almost to tangerine. It merges with the sky, like orange juice dissolving in a glass of water. Silhouettes of birds fly across a sky that is now magenta. The sun is half into the water, but its reflection in the sea makes it look complete. Every acoustic is rich, from the way the wind sighs, to the crunch of pebbles underfoot, and each note is unique yet harmonious. The artistry and craftsmanship leaves me breathless as I struggle to fathom such beauty beyond measure. The coastline curves as if drawn by an artists hand, the golden sands constructing a thick band between the waves and the vegetation beyond. Between the boats that left for fishing and the shoreline are sandbanks, snaking their way through the briny waters before sinking once more. The sky is a new painting from moment to moment, clouds ambling across the heavenly portrait.
These clouds are like passerby. And every passerby is a person, fully human, capable of laughter and joy. Yet somehow everyone is distracted, hurrying, eyes cast down––as if they have been beamed into paradise but lack time to notice. And, unfortunately, those passersby are us. Here my family is, out of breath not because we were observing the beauty surrounding us, but because we had missed a ferry that departed a mere five minutes before our arrival. It sailed away with a smile on its face as if it were teasing us for our tardiness. However, in essence, the smile was not teasing us for our inability to arrive on time; rather, the ferry was genuinely satisfied––happy for what it had learned. If there is one thing that I learned from that harbor, it is how nature teaches us appreciation. Nature reveals how to recognize and regard beauty and complexion. It may seem hackneyed, but the physical world around us truly compels people to slow down and convalesce. With that in mind, I open my eyes and––like a camera absorbing light––take everything in.