When the waters are rough, find peace in the space where the sea meets the shore.
Posted in , May 27, 2020
Last summer feels like it took place in a different universe, given all the changes that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. As I turn the calendar to June, I’m thinking about how much has shifted in one short year, how much has been altered, how much we’ve lost, and how many new challenges we face.
And then, an image comes into my mind that feels like a beacon, pointing me toward calm and inner peace.
At the beach, my 9-year-old son loves to sit on the wet sand, as close as he can get to the exact spot where the water meets the shore. One day last summer, I sat a few feet back from the water, shaded under an umbrella, watching him. His legs were straight out in front of him, and his hands were massaging the thick sand behind him as he sat happily.
We were at a bay beach, so the waves were neither dangerous nor high. But it was a cloudy, breezy day, and the waters were relatively rough. Looking at my son, I thought, “He has this figured out. In turbulent times, find comfort in sitting on the edge.”
When a wave rushed in, sloshing his legs and surrounding him with water, I watched his hands sink a couple of inches into the sand, anchoring and supporting him until the wave retreated. When a wave crept in more slowly, barely lapping at his toes, he simply sat contentedly, watching it come and go. And when some waves frothed and smacked into each other just offshore, he could notice them in all their angry glory, without being frightened or overwhelmed.
There is profound peace to be found in that liminal space where the sea meets the land. A few feet in either direction and we could either be too far away to notice its power, or we could struggle to stay afloat. But right on the line between turbulence and stillness is perhaps the most authentically positive place to live, a vantage point from which we can feel grounded even as things slosh and shift all around us.
Does this image resonate for you?