Where the Ocean Meets the Sky

July 14, 2022

My mother calls them thin places. My friend Susan talks about a yearning for wide-open spaces where you can see the sky in 360 degrees like she has been able to in Iceland. For me, any time I am in a place where the ocean meets the sky at the horizon, I immediately feel calmer and more centered. Even better are those places where I can see sand, shore birds and no other people. This is part of why I love the ocean in the winter when most people are snuggled under blankets at home. I love the beach in all seasons of the year. I have no problem walking on the beach in a coat, a sweatshirt or just in a bathing suit. It can be any beach, too. I love where we have been this week, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, but I am equally drawn to beaches on the Eastern shore or the Outer Banks. I have enjoyed sandy beaches in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Jamaica, California as well as one foray to the rocky beaches of coastal Maine.

As I walk, preferably in silence along the beach, I cannot help to be drawn into the present moment. My senses swell with the scent of salt in the air, the sparkling reflection of sunlight, the caress of water and sand on my toes. I love to listen to the seagulls calling to each other and the crash of the waves in the surf. I find myself breathing deeply and letting go of myriad worries. A gray sky with clouds that foreshadow a storm is still an effective mindfulness tool. Sitting on the beach or floating in the ocean, just past the breakers, can also bring me into a meditative space.

Like the skimmers at Wrightsville Beach, NC I have returned to the beach year after year for a week-long vacation. Often, out of these beach meditations I have come to flashes of insight that have led me to major life changes. Walking on the beach I have made decisions about relationships, switching college majors, beginning a new career, starting a family, ending a marriage and how to manage my children’s crises. This week, I have been trying to think of nothing to do with the future. I have tried to absorb as much energy from the sand, sun, and sky as possible. I have allowed the ocean to wash over me and take with it the stresses of pandemic teaching, my parents’ health crises, and my husband’s imminent medical procedure.

This week, what I crave is to slow down time.  My only goal is to focus on recharging my soul. Being present fully at the place where the ocean meets the sky is plenty for today.

Published by bmdavis1

I am a wife, mother of 2 grown sons, a school librarian and a certified yoga instructor. My hobbies include gardening, walking in nature and chasing around my two ornery cats.

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