If you follow my posts, you know I feel a lot, often. And I feel things pretty intensely. It's a gift, although challenging at times.
Anyway, the past few days have been challenging. For various reasons that I don't have an interest in sharing right now but I've been feeling confused and felt some deep sadness. After work I was walking along the road next to beach. I sat down in a nice area with grass and trees and felt the sun. I was going to head back to the apartment I'm staying at here in Santa Monica but something inside me, said, cross the street. It's a big street and I have been tired, so tired lately. The distance to the waves seemed far. Part of me just wanted to go back to the apartment and curl up and hide.
I gently confronted the part of me that wanted to hide. Spoke to her as if she was a hurt child; and in many ways that's exactly what that part of me was. I looked out at the soon to be setting sun and coaxed her through the beauty that was the beach before me, to venture out. The closer I got to the waves, the more I started to feel a sense of calm settle into my spine, my body, my soul.
I sat there, close to the waves, meditating. With my face tilted slightly up so as to feel as much sunlight seep into my skin, my soul. I let go with my breath, of tension in my body and my mind. I gave myself space to rest. Respectfully asked my mind to quiet. The energy of the life of the ocean filled my body and it was many things. Calming yet invigorating. Playful and deep. Wise. I surrendered to it. Gave thanks.
When I was ready to open my eyes, I laid back onto the sand behind me. Looking up at the sky. And thought about the intelligence out there, beyond our atmosphere, our sky. Felt blessed to be alive, conscious and awake at this moment, in this place. Laying there, my arms were stretched out, palms up. After a few moments I took a slow deep breath and sat up.
Sitting there, watching the waves, being, a man came up to me. Gently. Looking out at the waves too. He asked me about the water. And said I looked like a bird laying there in the sand with my arms outstretched. I laughed, as I love birds. We talked about Siberia, where he is from, and Alaska. But we mostly talked about the ocean. About swimming in cold water. After a pause, he looked at me with a light in his eyes and said, "let's jump in!"
I used to not like being wet. Or cold. And cold and wet I almost always avoided. But things are changing. And the idea of jumping in, as the sun was setting, in that cold water, sounded like just what I needed.
I didn't have a suit on or with me or a towel but I didn't care. In leggings and sports bra we giggled toward the water. As we got closer I squealed a bit thinking about the cold. He reached out his hand right as the water reached my ankles and we dove in! We waded out, until the water was chest high and rode a few waves. Laughing and diving. Someone ran along the beach behind us, a mother was holding her toddler just above the waves, dipping the baby's feet into the water as the waves rolled by.
Immersed in the water, feeling alive, I thought - yes. This is what I needed. I needed the power of these waves, a dousing of cleansing ocean water and the simple joy of innocent human connection.
Coming out of the water, I felt whole. The part of me that wanted to hide was laughing. Smiling. Feeling the light of the world around me. Walking back toward the apartment, looking down at the sand, I noticed the gentle glow of a setting sun bouncing off its peaks. I was reminded of how beautiful, truly beautiful, life is.
I hope, if and when you are given the opportunity to jump into life, you take it too. ;)