Seven years ago we moved to a large city several hours further away from my beloved North Carolina coastline. With busy teenagers, a fledgling business and financial struggles, my once happily close relationship with the beach suffered neglect. A space in my heart was reserved for it’s powerful beauty; missing the ocean became a daily sigh. My longing to spend hours in the surf….letting it coach me into it’s rhythms…went unfilled like a rain gauge during drought.
Last summer, my toes never even squeezed the sand; I felt cheated out of the sea. Waves of grief rolled me like angry breakers, rising and falling inside me as I tumbled into self-pity. Oh, I was well enough behaved about it, I suppose, but blame and bitterness were turning my heart a crusty lump of hard.
I tried to tweak my attitude but that was a belly up. As the summer droned on, I became worn down with discontent……becoming as hungry for peace as I had been for the sea. Still heartsore, I let go….spent from the internal struggle. With surrender came deep gulps of fresh oxygen to my soul….inviting Love to walk right through the walls of my closed off places.
Funny thing….my eyes seemed to grow keener with the letting go. They began opening to the waves of beauty surrounding me right where I was. Was this always here…these patterns and shades like sunsparkles on big water? Have grasses always danced like this….rolling and cresting and slapping my ankles playfully? As the wind gathered the trees like sea oats, I recognized those same songs. They began to fill my homesick places. The whole earth was wild and alive like the sea; my vision became sharp enough to see it.
Looks like this may be the prodigal summer for the sea and me. But it isn’t a need anymore; not like air or water. There is sweetness in freedom from the longing. Whether kissed by salty breezes or landlocked, I’m still one fabulously wealthy woman!