Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Anyone who's close to me, knows if I could pick just one heart’s desire of the materialistic sort, it would be to live on the beach.  I should clarify that proclamation or the law of attraction might have me living “on the sand” along with my knapsack of possessions:  a beach bum in every definition of the word.  That’s not exactly what I have in mind.  A little two room cottage will do. Now that’s my idea of residential heaven on earth. From the time I was a young girl, I’ve run to the water; for answers, for healing, for balance, and most of all to connect with my Creator. On a smaller scale, nothing rejuvenates me after a bad day like a soaking tub bath.  Years ago, the hot tub did the trick. It lived in my backyard and was particularly enticing in the winter time. I have the fondest memories of being immersed up to my neck in the midst of the swirling white silence of a snowstorm. My hair, frozen hard with frost, and the rest of my body was enveloped in a blanket of warmth, caressed lovingly by the water.  In this setting there was this sense of profound peace as I silently stargazed.  The water slipped into the nooks and crannies smoothing out the wrinkles of the day.  Yet, water’s value is hardly just aesthetic. Water ensures our continued life.   We would only live a day or two, tops, without water. Our physical bodies are 2/3rd’s water.  We use water to cleanse ourselves and our environments of germs.  It doesn’t stop at our physical bodies either. Water is used in many religions as a symbolic sign of rebirth, purifying the spirit to make room for the holy.   Water itself is soft.... pliable, yet, generates great power in the science of hydraulics, bringing a natural form of energy into our world. To witness the effect of water’s subtle power, look at rocks eroded by a rhythmic, tiny droplet  continuously dripping onto a surface. Mountains are carved.  If water has that kind of authority in nature, in a human body, and cleansing the soul, why wouldn’t I be mystified by it and hungry for the lessons it could teach me?

It’s really more than the water itself. It’s what lies beneath as well. I became entranced with the sea as a teen. Living in Bermuda, the hypnotic pull of the beach sparked my interest in the nether world that lie below sky and earth.  I recall the first time I snorkeled.  I fell hard.  Hook, line and sinker- crazy mad in love.   Mask firmly in place, pressing into my forehead, tight around my nose and eyes, it all felt awkward at first... breathing through a tube.  Until, I stopped fighting what I was unaccustomed to, slowed the frantic flopping of my flippers and relaxed. I began to skim the surface of the water, breathing naturally, and drifted gracefully along,  awe struck by the delicate treasures hiding out from the harsher world above.  At first I felt like an intruder, illegally breaking into a beautiful gated community. The only noise I detected was the rhythmic breath of the sea, and the faintest of heartbeats. Time and space had no meaning; hours seemed like minutes and when I peeked up above the water I had drifted much farther away from the shore than was safe.  I had truly entered a new planet, a foreign land, far, far away. It was magical, like a first love, perfect in every way.   
This life below was full of color and movement. Undulating, gliding, and slipping by me.  The brilliant palette, enhanced by the deep blue of the sea, vibrated with energy, a gallery of uncommon Art in motion. Jellyfish sensually trailing their threads of pain. Starfish with their intricate underbellies, each swirl a one of a kind fingerprint. And, sea anemones, extra terrestrial flowers of sorts, bright, happy colors adorning the ocean floor.   Everything was gentle, unhurried and peaceful down there.  I felt serene, like  my life had been dialed back to the low setting.  The sea life kept drifting by my line of vision, impassively, as if they couldn’t see me, a ghost in the midst of all of this vibrancy.  The meaning in their movement challenged me to try to live my life closer to a state of mindful appreciation.  Slower, easier, gentler.. with flexibility.  The feeling of freedom was close to a near death experience.  Awe, well-being and weightlessness overwhelmed me as I moved towards the light of the sun reflecting deep into the blueness of water. 

This scrapbook of old memories about my deep love of the water and seashore, was revisited recently as I toured the phenomenal Monterey Aquarium in California. What happened to those big dreams of the thirteen year old girl, whose sights were set on a career in oceanography?   It set into motion a new resolve, a middle-aged dream.  So I pulled out the dream board, comitted to work harder, and began to share my secret yearning to live and write by the sea! I envisioned that little two room cottage behind me as I sat on the sand, pen in hand, writing the messages whispered to me through the waves; the sun and the sky touching in and inspiring my heart to really see and hear what longs to be described to those who struggle with an ability to really see.  
Yes, the water, above and below, is a fountain of life and wisdom.  Showing me how to slow down, appreciate what’s around me, and listen patiently for the heartbeat.  For it is there, I always find the answers I seek. Not far behind comes the knowledge that I too, a creation born on land, come from the same power as that droplet of water.  Because of that, anything is possible.    

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), It's always our self we find in the sea. - e.e. cummings

(All photo's taken at the spectacular Monterey Aquarium- Monterey, California)