"Beauty of the earth and sea and air meant more to me. I was in harmony with it, melted into the universe, lost in it, as one is lost in a canticle of praise, swelling from an unknown crowd in a cathedral." - A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
In this place, where the forest touches the sea, I found rest. I found the place where my soul was set free to rediscover and to re-learn how to be alone. Solitude became my soul food.
As I walked barefoot on the icy pebbly shore, I felt my chest swell with warmth and light. Yesterday this landscape absorbed my tears- salt into salt. Nature spread this land out for me like a comforting blanket and allowed me the space to let go and to be refilled into someone more whole than before.
It took me over two years to find this space, both physically in the land and also in my spirit. It's as if the Universe or the Divine (or whatever you believe) had honored my journey of actively seeking healing from the trauma that had been my life for over two years.
I think that when we practice discipline of the heart and mind on a daily bases, whether it be journaling, meditating, reading, or praying, I think it is this act of acknowledging that there is something outside of yourself, this act of surrendering your pride to the open air- I think this act emits energy from within you that is felt and received by the energy of the Universe...and in return, you are given space, clarity, peace, and renewal. You are given new eyes, new ears, a new form of feeling and interacting with the forces of life from within All. The world becomes your cathedral of praise to the Divine.
It began to rain again. The wind played in circles around my body but I did not feel her icy cold. I was too happy, too alive to care about the weather.
10:00 AM marked the beginning of low tide, according to my tide tracker. I began to walk away from the covering of the forest over the shore and headed South. Watching the tide pull sand and stones away from the land, I felt the call of the sea to explore what she was about to reveal to me.
She rolled back her tide-skirts to show off a tiny piece of glorious skin. Here, she allowed me to explore her heart. In these pools of wisdom I found metaphor, symbolism, and a new visual language for future drawings. And she let me see her heart with the new eyes of my heart.
As I walked, I walked with intention. With every step I trained my mind to whisper a "thank you" to the overwhelming open beauty of the sea.
Suddenly, I felt something touch my toes in the icy water. Looking down, I saw that a small sea- star had floated over my feet. I reached down to pick her up and noticed that she was cold and stiff, probably near the end of her life.
"Parting is inevitably painful, even for a short time. It is like an amputation, I feel. A limb is being torn off, without which I shall be unable to function. And yet, once it is done, I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.
It is as if in parting one did actually lose an arm. And then, like the star-fish, one grows it anew; one is whole again, complete and round- more whole, even, than before, when the other people had pieces of one." - A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
As I held the tiny sea-star in my hand, she began to move. I felt her body warm in my palm, and her little suction-cup limbs slowly explored the folds of my skin. Thanking her for her lesson and for her place in the circle of life, I lowered her into the shallow pool and let her warm in my hand a second longer. I released her to the waters under a rock to protect her from the birds and the crabs and the anemones.
I walked back to the forest. Full of living light. And for the first time in years, I felt whole.