There are so many things I am thankful for; it’s sometimes overwhelming how much abundance and joy I have in my life, and I try to remain cognoscente of this fact every day. Of all the things I am thankful for, I was recently reminded just how grateful I am to live close to the ocean.
Growing up in Michigan, I formed wonderful bonds with the lakes and rivers surrounding me, but I didn’t get to know Mama Ocean until adulthood. Now, I am lucky enough to live close enough to the ocean that I could visit her in a day trip, if I wanted. A couple of weekends ago, I found myself on the coast for a writing conference, and I was astonished anew by the changing faces and moods of the ocean. In the span of 48 hours, she morphed into countless beings, as you see in this post.
I guess that’s one reason I love the ocean. The changeability, the power, the raw elemental energy encapsulated along the shore; these are vivid reminders to me of liminal space in general and the speed with which things in life can shift specifically.
When I visit the ever-changing waters, I always take a moment to give thanks. I’ve developed a simple gratitude ritual almost unconsciously; as soon as my feet hit the sand, I find a shell or stone that sings to me. I pick it up, pouring all my love and thanks into the shell, and then with a smile and a prayer, I send the shell back into the ocean. It may seem silly, offering something that already belongs to the ocean, but it’s become an important part of my beach practice in the five years I’ve lived close enough to visit often. I try to do something similar right before parting ways with the waves, too.
I suppose I am thankful not only for the ocean, but for the lessons she offers; change is inevitable, life is fluid, and beauty and strength are not mutually exclusive.
What are you thankful for today?