The Tide

Thomas - Harrisonville, New Jersey
Entered on November 20, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death, nature
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

On a sunny day in summer my family and I drove down to the Jersey shore. After running out of the car and into the water, I found myself amazed that the ocean was not a frozen block of ice. I was shivering all over and quickly decided against staying in the water much longer. I trudged back through the wet sand to our beach blanket where I quickly became bored out of my skull. Then I got the idea to go for a walk along the beach.

I passed children playing in the sand and middle aged men fishing and I kept on walking till I began to see fewer and fewer people. It was then that I came upon a man-made row of wooden pylons stretching out in to the sea. It was on the corner of the beach, where the ocean meets the bay, and the pylons apparent job was to hold the remaining sand on the beach. And quite honestly it failed entirely. The waves came roaring in like a battering ram against a medieval wall. They sent spray soaring into the air seven feet high when the water connected with the wood. Then the waves retreated quietly back to sea in preparation for the next advance. The ocean was slowly eating away at the beach almost as if to prove the lesson that despite what ever man could throw in its way, what ever man did to control the waves, the ocean was superior. Nature could not be stopped by wooden pylons.

Nature has been forgotten by the modern age. People believe that their sky scrapers and department stores will last forever, that we can control nature with science. But nature cannot be controlled. The waves will keep crashing against the beach long after the wooden structure turns to dust and falls into the sea and they will keep crashing against the beach despite the people who leave their footprints in the wet sand. The ocean wipes them away and they are forgotten.

One day, maybe soon, maybe in decades to come, it will be my turn to let the currents take me from this world. My footprints will be washed away and I will let go of my feeble hold on life. No matter what medicines or surgeries I take to stop the waves from eroding, no matter what I throw in their path, they will crash upon me just the same. We are only here for as long as the blinking of an eyelid and then its time to leave. I believe that I must do the best I can with what little time I have been given, because when it is my time to join the tides I will be ready.