Saturday, August 16, 2008

Waves of Gratitude by Barbara Quinn

The ocean is a lovely sea foam color that invites me to jump in. No jelly fish bump my legs, no seaweed wraps around my calves. The warm misty green water with white foam on top is perfect for swimming beyond the gentle waves.

This calmness is welcome after a summer whose rip-tides have been treacherous. A few days ago, the waves were large. I timed the crashing and hurried out to beyond where they break, hoping for a swim. But as soon as I lifted my feet, I was pulled sideways. No matter how hard I swam, the ocean drew me strongly to the left. The current was taking me where it wished, and that was toward a rocky jetty. I recognized the danger, and caught a wave back to the shore where I emerged tired and breathing hard. Catching a wave in was the right thing to do.

Besides, it was a great bodysurf back to the shore. There’s a spot in a wave that is safe and glorious, a place where you can hold your head high while being carried along swiftly, the chaos and turmoil of the roiling ocean just below and behind you, the roar of the surf filling your ears. The ride is over far too quickly. That short exhilarating ride is the nature of bodysurfing and is what I reach for time after time when I go out into the waves. Bodysurfing is about accepting the nature of the wave. You don’t question or think. You feel the power and become a part of the wave. Dive forward too quickly or too late and you are left behind. You learn to lose yourself in the wave. Luckily, there’s always another wave to try to catch.

I need to go through more of life this way:accepting and not fighting, finding that sweet spot and riding it for however short a time, being grateful for the small joys, knowing that if I miss one wave, another will come along. That’s what the waves have taught me. That, and knowing when to cut my losses when there is danger in staying the course. For the knowledge that waves impart, and for those short glorious rides, I am grateful.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Made me wish to be at the ocean. *waving at ya!* ;)

Patresa Hartman said...

so beautiful. i've always felt like the ocean was the purest form of raw spirituality. do people who have grown up with it feel the same? or have i only romanticized it because i've grown up in the midwest?

do you need a live-in housekeeper who comes with a husband, 2 cats, and a dog?

Ami said...

The vastness and power of the ocean have always scared me. I love it from the beach, its beauty and strength something I can admire from afar, but being in it makes me anxious and nervous.

I tend to face large, challenging situations the same way. Desiring them and fearing them at the same time.

Now I realize I should be riding the waves.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh! The Ocean....mountains and ocean are my two Places and though I chose Mountain - I adore Ocean...
what a beautiful post...

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