I’ve always felt afraid of the sea. It is a fear of the unknown, of the hidden depths shrouded in mystery. More is known about Mars than our oceans (did you know that 95% of our oceans have never been explored?)
In the past, for me, the best therapists in nature have always been the woods and the mountains, the woods offering the wisdom and stability of the trees, and the mountains offering a sense of awe and belonging.
Yet now, as I am facing great turbulence in my life, it is in the ocean that I am finding solace.
My instinct took me to the sea. As I write this at 4 am, I am on the stony beach, and the sound of the gentle ebb and flow of the tide is calming my senses and helping me adjust and take stock of my life.
I watch the sun rise and marvel at the colours. I look at the stones on the rocky beach. The rocks remind me that life goes on. These rocks are all so much older than me. I pick up a stone and feel it’s smoothness and weight. This small rock may once have formed part of a great mountain, but it became displaced, and now finds itself on the beach under the protection of the great ocean, just as I am. As I look across the water at the flickering lights on the mainland, I appreciate the solitude this place offers, and also realise that I have a new therapist to whom I want to return.
Alongside the vastness of the ocean I spend a few minutes practising pebble meditation and cultivate spaciousness both inside and outside of myself.
The sea is strong, survives turbulent weather and soon returns to its calm natural self. Just as the turbulence in my life will pass, and calmness and tranquility will come once more.
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. Jacques Yves Cousteau, Oceanographer.