The sea and me….

summer waveSeven 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!


  1. Paul C on June 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    This is a wonderful post. I have increasingly seen 'letting it go' as an important mantra in my life. That ocean breeze and toes in sand can be captured closer to home in other nature experiences. A good hike anyone?

  2. S. Etole on June 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    "There is sweetness in freedom from the longing …" what wealth in that statement. What peace.

  3. Mary on June 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I have been overcome by a wave and my heart is sent tumbling in that salty froth!!!!

    Longing for something that may never be has kept me from seeing what is right in front of me!!!!

    God Bless!!

  4. rachel awes on June 22, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    love your sharp vision
    & the gifts given you in it.
    a prodigal summer…woman, you REALLY can write!
    thank you for sharing your wealth w/us readers!
    (that picture is really gorgeous, btw!).xox

  5. Bren on June 23, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I was right there with each word that dropped from your pen, feeling what you felt. Powerful words with an even more powerful message.

  6. maribeth on June 23, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Sweet surrender. Yes…

  7. PaperPumpkin on June 23, 2010 at 12:57 am

    I will be rereading these words. Thank you for this insight and wisdom, and for your kind words on my Blog.

  8. Just Be Real on June 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    What an awesome post Jen. Powerful words. Love that picture too, hits and says a lot. Blessings.

  9. Sharron Leaf on June 24, 2010 at 2:04 am

    i can relate to your absence of the sea in your life. when i left Huntington Beach, I asked myself, "what are you doing, moving inland??" But i've discovered a different beauty living amongst the trees, the 4 seasons, the fireflies. Your words are full of letting go, and new discovery. Happy hunting!

  10. Hindsfeet on June 25, 2010 at 5:27 am

    …Jennifer….I cannot get over how your posts continually resonate with the rhythms in my life….what a timely treasure your writing is…

    …this idea of "letting go"…a phrase I used in my post tonight…..

    this post was the comforting confirmation I prayed for today……

    With all my heart, thank you for the gift.

  11. Relyn on June 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I live landlocked in the middle of the country and I long for the ocean. I swear I can smell it when we're still 10 or 11 miles away as we drive along. My spirits climb higher and higher the closer I get. I am truly excited to be going to the coast this summer. Three whole days in a beach cottage. I am a blessed woman!

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