Lounging on my bed, one leg stretched, and the other bent creating a space to cradle my laptop, pillows tucked all around me to support my neck and back in a posture that will send me crawling to the chiropractor, this is how I like to write. Close to 2:00am, the ocean reminds me of her presence as I hear the waves make their way to the shore. How lucky am I to hear that beautiful crashing sound from my bed.
I spent my growing up years at the beach, slathered in baby oil and iodine baking under the sun with my sisters and my girlfriends, and swimming in the ocean all day. As a teenager, I had little fear of the ocean and on many occasions I swam beyond the waves when it was not safe. Nope, not even riptides, cold water temperatures, or the threat of jellyfish stings could keep me out of the water.
These days, I walk barefoot for miles through the shallow low tide, or hold my grandson’s hand on the shore as we run to and away from the waves. I might make my way waist deep, if the conditions are just right, small rolling waves, warm water, and the hot August sun. It’s a funny thing to be uncomfortable or fearful of something that was once second nature to me. Sure, I had my share of serious poundings; waves slamming me into ocean’s floor only to be churned up again by its powerful force. But I remember thinking and knowing . . . all I have to do is hold my breath, let my body succumb to the power of the ocean and eventually it will set me free. And it always did. Even the worse thrashing wouldn’t keep me out of the water for very long. Time to catch my breath was all I really needed.
Hmmm . . . it occurs to me that my relationship with love has been a lot like my relationship with the ocean. Drawn to love, I loved even when it was dangerous. And when my heart took a beating, I had faith that I would come out of it better and stronger. Today, I love the sound of love. I can laugh as I run toward it and then run away, especially if a friend is holding my hand. I am comfortable alone in the shallow end, but sometimes wonder if I have traded faith for fear.
Maybe I’m waiting for the perfect conditions, or maybe . . . . I just need time to catch my breath . . .