we recently spent three wonderful days at the beach where my parents live. it had been exactly two years since we were there last.
there is something special about the beach to me. more days than not, i long to bring my child to the beach, to let her stand with her bare feet on the bare earth--to let her feel the water wash over her--to fill her ears with the sound that she hasn't heard since she left the womb, now nearly four years ago.
some people look to the sky to find their place in the universe--some look to the mountains--i go to the sea. water has been the medicine i have gone to again and again in my life, when i am sore, or tired, or grieving, or lonely--water soothes me and makes me whole again, it is the elixir that i crave and that i long for when it is missing. there were whole days in my childhood that i spent in the ocean, moving in and out with the tide, letting the pull of the moon move me closer to and then further away from the safety of the shore. those were the nights when i slept best--at peace with the earth because i had been at one with the her.
in spite of my love of the sea, i've never chosen to live near her. loving mother though she is, the sea has a temper too, and she doesn't confine her wrath to only those who abuse her. but now that i am a mother too, i understand her better. and i try to learn from her--to offer my child and my husband and all those i love some of the tender care the sea has offered me--comfort, and healing, and rest.