I realized in college how much my soul finds peace from the sound of waves crashing. Despite the circumstances or the day, I step onto a beach and feel an inward sigh, releasing things I did not know were bottled.
The water is my therapy, massaging out the knots of life’s pressures I inadvertently carry. It is my church, uniting me with the creative energy of life’s Source. It is my home, cradling me in the sea of the familiar and the unknown, the constant and the changing.
It reminds me too of my dad, connecting us through a shared love not often tapped, as our times on beaches together are too few.
Yesterday was one of those remembering days, with time in the sunshine and on the ocean bringing me back to myself.
“Hello, beauty” I whispered. “Look at how radiant you are when you let the Earth kiss you.”
We took a boat out to a rocky point where the seals live and- costumed like them with wetsuits and flippers- swam amongst our furry friends. I kept inhaling salt water as I flipped and twisted in the water, mimicking their fluid movement while forgetting about my snorkel mask.
It was a majestic experience to be surrounded by another mammal in their environment, on their turf. A guest in a stranger’s land, I felt honored to be included. If I joined too quickly, I could see them startle and distance themselves just as fast. But, when I was calm and waited for them to come to me, within minutes I’d be enclosed in a circle of seals swimming and dancing around me. They swam up to me from below and would do a sort of backflip within an arm’s reach. Their carefree and graceful movement was playful and flirtatious, a reflection on contentment offered with their every move.
It was a gift to encounter another marvel of the Universe in such an intimate way.
There is a cheesy 90’s worship song I find myself connecting to frequently here in Plettenberg Bay, its lightness mirroring my spiritual experience:
Waves of mercy, waves of grace
Everywhere I look, I see Your face
Your Love has captured me
Oh my God , this Love, how can it be?
Oh Lord, how it can be? Yeaaaah
From my short time with the seals, I am struck by the verse: “everywhere I look, I see Your face.” I am prompted to see the face of God in the beauty that surrounds, to let Her caress me with every moment’s inspiration. To return to the oceanfront, and to breathe in the sweet aroma of peace.