THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE OCEAN
Sometimes, we are asked if we are either beach or mountain people. I’d like to think that I’m both.
In North Carolina, when you refer to mountains, it really means the Blue Ridge Mountain Range with all its awesome trees and small—do I dare call them—peaks.
I love the mountains for the privacy, serenity, and quiet. Surrounded by trees, I can feel myself become part of nature. I can listen to the rustling of the leaves, feel a slight breeze caressing my face, watch a bug fly by as if in greeting, the sun filtered through treetops in visible rays.
I am at peace in the woods.
And then there is the ocean.
I love it for the dichotomy of emotions:
One day, smooth waters and sunshine will calm my spirit and humble me with its glorious beauty.
Other days, the sea is churning, angry, letting me know how powerful it can be.
But on those days, I can also feel the energy, the revival of my senses like a reminder of the power and anger that lies within me.
I drink up that energy, trying to store it for those days I need it most.
Speaking of needing energy, I am tired of the draining, ever-present negativity all around us these days. Yet during the pandemic, my visits to the beach to recharge my emotional battery will remain limited to a trip down memory lane, and so I have to rely on the reserves stored there to sustain me for now.
But I shall draw strength knowing that the ocean will still be there when I am ready to return.
Here are a four more thoughts on how the ocean has impacted and defined us as human beings:
In how we live our lives.
It seems that we spend most of our time beneath the surface, living our routines in either deep or shallow waters depending on one’s preference. We are content to go with the flow and allow the currents to carry us forward.
But at times, we move out of the safety of our environment, either voluntarily or by force. The voluntary version is when you get to surf high on a wave, reveling in the beauty of life, experiencing pure joy, seeing something beyond the horizon.
The other version is when you are forcefully catapulted out of the water by an unexpected might that will leave you gasping for air, losing any sense of direction, and hoping to survive re-entry.
Both are needed to define us, but our focus should be directed towards making waves that allow us to ride them longer.
In How We Value Relationships.
The important relationships in our lives ebb and flow like the ocean.
I believe there is a reason why we meet certain people during our lifetime.
I can easily go years without talking to some of the people I connected with. And then out of the blue, our paths cross as if by chance.
Ultimately, this reconnection reveals a purpose that propels me further to where I am meant to be.
I value all my relationships, as uneventful as they seemed at the time.
Every human contact leaves room to be inspired or to inspire.
In Who We Are.
Like the drops of water that make an ocean, we as individuals make humanity.
We are the same but different.
Every person offers up new knowledge as well as opinions: observe, listen, and learn. We need to soak in new experiences as it will change who we were to who we should become.
And while one drop of water may project more color than the next, pay attention to all. Every drop matters.
In How We Hope.
Watching the sun rise over the ocean, it brings the potential of a new day in all its glory and possibility. We anticipate, even yearn for that first sliver of light to appear on the horizon. The sun will come up every day, but at the beach, I never take that for granted as I breathe in the energized salty air and raise my face to greet the warmth of the first rays.
Sunrise at the beach promises that we can start anew every day and not to dwell on yesterday’s past.
When the sun goes down, we are given time to reflect:
One last glimpse of light before the sun dips below the horizon.
One last moment before committing a good day into memory. Or one last moment of dread before locking it away.
A day at the beach is never a bad day.
This is said in many ways. It’s true: There is no other place on earth where I feel that my potential is limitless (as an individual and as a human race). Maybe that is because we have come from the ocean in a sense. It keeps calling to us to return.
Tell me, am I the only one who longs for the water to touch my toes the minute I arrive at the beach (no matter what time of year)? When I finally allow it, that is when I dare to bare my soul (not my toes), the greeting is always the same, “Hello Petra, where have you been? I missed you terribly.”
And I’m home.
Embrace each sunrise. For it gives the chance to leave fresh footprints in the sand.
Thanks for reading! I’m Petra, and I’m an author, speaker, and women’s advocate.