I don’t understand what it is about the ocean that I find to be so healing. The steady rhythm of the waves, perhaps, or the beauty of the wide open sky. I’m not sure.
I only know that, for me, there is nothing more soothing, more calming, more centering, than an hour on a quiet beach. I stand on the edge of the water, watching the tiny shore birds racing away from the incoming waves, snatching up food that I can’t even see. I breathe more deeply, taking in the salt and the brine, filling myself up with life. I look as far out as I can, to the spot where the sea meets the sky, and I feel myself to be simultaneously stronger and smaller that I was a moment before.
There is just something that is supremely elemental about the ocean. Any ocean. Its as if every molecule within me reconnects with its most ancient ancestor, and I understand that I am nothing more than the latest version of the original life form that crawled up out of the water billions of years ago.
It puts everything in perspective, you know? How can I expend energy worrying about the menu for my daughter’s shower, or the math lesson that I need to have ready for Tuesday, when I am looking at the immensity of the Atlantic ocean, and realizing that I have no more significance here than smallest brine shrimp?
As I stand there, on the shore, I can feel my worries melting away in the sun, blowing across the dunes, disappearing into the marsh grass. As I stand on the beach, away from the world that confronts me every day, I remember my true self, and feel like I am real again.
I spent the last three days with wonderful, generous friends down on the Maryland shore. I ate, and drank and laughed and played.
I walked on my favorite beach. I remembered myself. I healed.
With love and thanks to Mo and Dave!