On the shoreline.

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This vast ocean is spread out before me, drawing me near with a silent voice from somewhere within the wind, inviting me to forget the world around me. I’ve often wondered why sailors referred to the waters as her, I’ve read it’s because of the seductive powers they hold and the unpredictable nature of them. When I visit the waters edge, I feel a gentle strength of comfort washing over me, the way I feel when held in my mother’s embrace.

Now, I am standing on her shore, so still in the peace she offers, gazing out upon the waves. She sends frothy bubbles sneaking slowly toward me to tickle my toes as I entertain whatever thoughts wish to find me.

I want to stay in this moment, at least for a while. I feel my breath keeping time with the rhythmic ebb and flow of the waves until the chill of the salty waters steal it away with cold, slippery fingers caressing my bared legs.

I gratefully listen in hushed silence to the whispered secrets freely floating amongst the glorious noises of nature, losing myself in the beauty before me while the sun drops twinkling diamonds upon the seemingly endless surface of solitude laid before me.

Strolling along this beach, my bare feet sinking in the moist sand, there is a restlessness stirring inside of me. Something longing to be as free as the wind blowing through my hair. I can’t help but wonder what lay beyond that distant horizon, if the air tastes as salty on those shores I cannot see.

Sitting on the glistening sands, sifting through broken fragments of shell and rock discarded by the waves, I am in awe, admiring the colors and textures artfully blanketing the silken sands beneath me. Tangled seaweed scattered here and there remind me there is a life to the sea thriving under this immense body of water I can barely even imagine.

Forests of living wonder, mountains of coral filled with populations of creatures great and small, existing in world I can only dream of. A world healing to many and a source of great fear for others. A world many have been lost to, yet enables us to live. I’ve heard tell of the great beauty which lies beneath the surface, I’m content to stand upon the shoreline and close my eyes, in my vision, it is one of God’s greatest works.

The cooling air and setting sun remind me the day has been long and I must leave the sanctity of the ocean shore, as I gather myself to return to the world I faintly hear her calling for my return . . . another day.

Crystal R. Cook

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