Romance by the Sea

Come Away—to the waters and the wild... (W.B. Yeats)

For the sea-seekers among us, nothing quite satiates the soul like crashing waves, rocky cliffs, sand-duned strands, cascading coasts. Sea settings—those places where wild nature embraces raw emotion, where past and present fade into the distant horizon, itself the edge where the finite joins the infinite.

Who can tell the dancer from the dance? (W.B. Yeats)

The ancient Celts called the edge of the sea a thin place—the site where waves cascade to shore in soul-stirring rhythm, where the sea shifts from hues of green, then blue to glistening white—that transcendent place where the moment and eternity, the literal and the mystical, meld. From here to beyond—

Add a rustic cottage, a castle, or an ancient ruin that invites, intrigues, inspires us to be—part of the setting and the story—where we can live and love in ways that transcend our own experiences and expectations.

The Winter Sea, A Cottage by the Sea, The Wild Irish Sea, Latitudes of Melt —even The Sea Around Us. Whether fictive or not, the passion for seascapes draws us instinctively seaward, all the while progressively deeper and deeper into our own subterranean depths. For author Susana Kearsley, (Sourcebooks, 2009), the castle ruins along the rugged, wild, remote northern Scottish coast beckon her heroine through time to the place of her ancestors—to relive the transformational experience of love and transcendence along The Winter Sea. The very title places the reader in a timeless primeval setting, the realm of the magical, the mystical—the possible. I dwell in Possibility—the words of Emily Dickinson speak to the heart & theme of this romance of the sea.

For it is, (to borrow from Finnegan’s Wake), “at last, alone, along” the sea where we discover the possibility of transformation. We find our sensibilities shifting from feeling “at sea” to feeling part of the seascape—a new way of being.

As every romancer (writer or reader) of the sea knows, it is here by the sea that we step into another world, another time, another way. There, we discover our second sight, our place in the universe—and perhaps our soul mate. 

Reposted by permission of Síle Post, author of Your Own Ones and The Road to Walden North, Fall 2015, Green Writers Press.

Author Síle Post has followed the trail of the wild salmon that swim through Your Own Ones, crossing the Atlantic herself in search of simply extraordinary places—from the ancient cliffs of Dingle Peninsula to the timeless fjords of Arctic Norway. In her writing, she weaves her passion for Place with her literary calling to protect her own ones—the wild salmon of the Celts, the pristine beaches of Prince Edward Island, and the primeval forests of Walden North. She resides among localvores in Vermont, Celts in Maritime Canada, and occasionally, family in Ireland. See her blogs on the Spirit of Place at: & She also writes literary fiction & essays as Sheila Post, published with Green Writers Press. Contact her at


Seascapes and romance

April 9, 2015 09:57 AM by Betty Bolte

Beautifully said. The sea beckons to me, too!

Romance by the Sea

April 9, 2015 05:03 PM by Sile Post

Thank you, Betty!

Yes, the sea as a 'thin place' beckons us to experience the link between the physical and the mystical. No wonder that Susanna Kearsley 'placed' her time travel romance along the sea! In my novel Your Own Ones, I 'place' my protagonist heroine right in the sea, protecting the mystical wild salmon. Through such experiences, we open our hearts in ways we never dreamt possible. . .

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