In her final years my Grandmother, Winnie Woods, told me that she remembered reading something in the Bible about the ocean having a soul, but now she couldn’t find it. Repeatedly she told me this. She thought it was possibly in Psalms. Throughout her life she spent her active days in the garden, reading the bible, and writing letters to our extended family. In the style of someone who lived through The Great Depression she always cooked a pot of cabbage, adding to it whatever else we had around. When she started talking about the ocean’s soul, I was curious, but figured this was probably a sign of her mental capacities finally decreasing, being 80+ years old. After searching lightly with Google, I haven’t found anything in the modern Bible translations about the ocean’s soul. But then today I happened to listen to an audio version of the Book of Enoch… and sure enough, in chapter 60 I heard this:
“And the spirit of the sea is masculine and strong, and according to the might of his strength he draws it back with a rein, and in like manner it is driven forward and disperses amid all the mountains of the earth.”
Looks like Grandma was right. I could be wrong, but I don’t think she ever read the Book of Enoch, being a pretty strict Pentecostal Christian. Maybe she came across the Book of Enoch in her reading of over the years, or heard a preacher mention something about it.
Or maybe during her years of working the land, growing plants, and spending time in nature she was able to intuit a fundamental truth about the importance of water. So much so that over 80 years of being a witness to the sights, sounds and patterns of nature, this feeling turned into an idea that the ocean itself was an entity.
Born in 1924, she grew up in a poor farmer family. She rode horses. She hunted. She played basketball in high school. She never drove a car because she was epileptic most of her life. She said God healed her in her 60s. I don’t think she had more than one or 2 seizures after that. However, because of her epileptic history, she never lived alone. Never worked a job outside the house, but always helped out at church, cooked, and worked in the garden.
During her later years she also began supporting water focused charities in Africa. Saying that everyone should have water. She was never a woman with much money or resources, but she still found a way to give so that people across the world can have access to clean water.
Wether she was watering her garden, boiling something in a pot, or providing a drink to the thirsty across the world, she was connected to the waters of Earth.