I’ve been thinking alot lately about the ocean.
I do not live as close to her as I usually do. I have a river within walking distance which provides comfort and a place to observe water in motion. But it is not the same as having the ocean within walking distance.
Most of the places I have lived have been at the ocean. Quite literally walking distance. Often no further away then the opening of my window or screen door.
I miss it.
I love my home and in many ways my new community. But the reliability of the ocean is not something one can replace.
I suppose only those who have lived by the ocean can understand with erudite viscerality the knowing of the subtle or nuanced nature of this connection to which I refer. (I suspect it is the same with those who live in forest, grassland or mountainous regions. It becomes part of you, and you of it.)
Indeed, visiting a place is different than becoming its resident. The relationship you have while on vacation is peripheral, surface at best. Yes, you can appreciate elements of your surroundings. You can to certain degrees be aware of its beauty, and its imperfections. But the depth and embodiment of the experience and perception occurs when you are part of the whole of it. For extended periods of time. You become acquainted with the rhythm of it. Rhythms of things is something that frequently enters my awareness.
Rhythms are things I understand.
I can work with them.
Even, and perhaps especially, if they are not of my own creation. I can accommodate their pace, adjust to their cadence and find ways to enjoy even their seeming erraticisms.
We can moderate our breath to become situationally more efficient. Simply by becoming aware of our intake and release of air.
There is comfort in the consistency of this once revelation.
The ocean is the paragon of such rhythmic movements.
One of my quiet ministries has been sharing tiny videos of the ocean (and other landscapes) to friends and colleagues who struggle with their abilities to meditate. I decided this week I would begin posting the videos on youtube for other people to come across should they be searching for such.
Some will be several minutes long. Others mere seconds. One of the reasons I began sharing them via email was because some friends were convinced they could not be still long enough, or quiet their minds long enough, to effectively meditate. My belief is that meditation comes in many forms and one of the most astonishingly simple ways to access meditative states whether we are seeking introspection, reflection or epiphany, is to spend time in Nature.
Make no mistake. Watching a video of the ocean is not the same as being at the ocean. Likewise with walking in the forest, hiking up a mountain, or wandering over the grasslands. But it has helped at least some to take the first steps to developing a practice where they take time to be still for a few moments each day.
My breath set to Her rhythm:
My morning eyes drifting across the breadth of Her
My breath set to Her rhythm
Ever consistent in Her ability to carve new passages
She, the source of sometimes inevitable destruction,
Softening each obstacle that comes across Her Path
Remembering at all times:
She is One and part of many Ones.
Originally posted May 19, 2016