The sound of the ocean has always called me! Whether it is the gentle rhythm of the continuous waves or the intensity of the crashing surf, the intrigue is there and simply pulls me in.
Even as a little girl the mention of going to the beach brought instant excitement and joy. There was nothing more I could think of that meant more. Playing in the sand, giving in to the lure of the water touching my toes…….or simply running free, I could feel the difference within myself. The entire experience reached a depth inside of me I didn’t understand at the time……and maybe still don’t…….but I just knew I felt lighter and a pure sense of joy.
To this day I am drawn to the beach whenever I am tired, stressed or simply in need of a break. And, if I happen to hit it just right when the sun is out and it is warm with no wind……..well, that is about as close to heaven as one can get!! Just sitting on a blanket or a log and staring out over the water I am able to breathe a little easier, reflect, and feel a sense of contentment I cannot get anywhere else. It is like I am reaching beyond the horizon to a home I have yet to know but is calling to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to go to the beach when it is stormy, too, as there is a wonder about that as well. The strength and power of the water boiling and churning has a meaning in itself. The rhythm continues to be present, but more robust and forceful in its presence.
I will never forget the time we took our four children and their families to a house overlooking the beach during a Christmas holiday. The weather was stormy with the wind and rain pounding against the picture windows all night long. About three in the morning the electricity went out and all the adults and the children one by one appeared from all corners of this huge house to stand together by the windows in wonder, experiencing the intensity, the darkness and these most unusual and impacting moments. In the darkness you could feel the command of the surf and the incredible control of the weather outside, almost like God was revealing HIS dominance and mastery…..all in awe! It was a bonding and a spiritual feeling all in one.
Every single time as we travel toward the beach I strain for the first view of the ocean as we get close. It is like medicine for the soul……and I never tire of it. And, it is different every time. Sometimes the waves are small and gently rolling and other times the foam from the turbulent pounding is scattered to the wind. Recently there was snow on the beach and jellyfish that had washed ashore. Logs and driftwood are continuously changing the landscape, sea creatures are beached and several years ago I recall a ship that had gone aground. There are times when sand dollars and sea shells can be found or where sand has shifted to create less or more beachfront for walking. It is never the same……. the colors, the smells, the sounds and of course, the weather. I am reminded of the magnitude of what God has created and am amazed by the beauty of it all.
Whenever there is a chance to take a break, get away with loved ones, or just a retreat with friends, the destination is a “no brainer”! The beach is where I am headed. It provides the atmosphere that projects peace, tranquility and space to breathe. Some of my best sharing of feelings, with those who are most close to me, has taken place just peering out over the water or watching the sun set just beyond the water’s edge. There is just no other place that fits the bill!
I don’t have to always touch it……I just need to be there and feel it around me!