The tide is dragging the seaweed up from the depths of the ocean and stringing them along the crustacean covered rocks that litter the beach, creating prehistoric creatures that move with the flowing water. I am relieved to have them as my company, happy to be rid of the throngs of Angelenos I left behind in the San Fernando Valley. When I first stumbled upon my little beach haven, I was doubtful that I could find peace here, with the busy four lane Pacific Coast Highway racing behind me. I marvel at how the ocean suddenly stops the onslaught of humanity in its tracks, the offensive traffic noise drowned out by the crashing waves, the multitude of people ending where the water begins. As far as my eye can see there is nothing but water.
Two weeks ago I meditated for the first time. Or should I say the only time. After several failed attempts in the intervening weeks, I had almost given up. But the sea beckoned me, blew me kisses of promises of tranquility and I gave in.
Sitting on my bright pink towel, toes buried in the sand, I tried just forcing thoughts from my head. They fought back, bombarding me with images of tsunamis, work and my grocery list. Remembering the lessons learned from my first meditation session, I began to concentrate on my breathing. Rapid, open mouth,shallow breaths. Fixing my sight on the begging swells of a wave, I breathed with it, watching it break into white frothy water, reaching for my feet. Before long I am in a rhythm, my body following its own course, and I just am. There is no other way to describe it. Voices, distant car sounds, the chilly wind all fall away and there is only the ocean and me. Then it happens. As the water pulls away from the beach, gathering its strength for the wave, it pulls me too. I feel the tug in my belly, not once but twice and it is as if I am the wave and the wave is me and I am floating in endless time. The sea and me…we are as one. And then that moment is gone.
The ocean showed me the calm and stillness within me through the thunder and swells of the surf. It is a start, the beginning of a long and wondrous relationship.