This morning I went back to the beach. I knew before I even glimpsed the ocean that she was rough. I could hear the crashing of the waves as if there was a loud drum embedded into the earth. The moment I walked over the dunes, I saw the spray spitting into the air and a cliff made of sand. I had been there not five days ago and there was no cliff. The beach was as one would expect, smooth, vast and walked right into the ocean as the ocean rolled effortlessly right onto it.
Not today. Today there was no mistaking the power of the sea and all that she is capable of doing. The cliff was entirely made of sand, but solid enough for me to sit on without sliding into the surf. Even the walking was rough as I had to stick to the deeper, less packed earth which makes it much more unsteady. Normally I walk right along the water’s edge where there is less give to each step. To do so today would risk being swept away. So I walked for a while and noticed how even in the roughness, it was all so incredibly beautiful. I myself woke up this morning feeling less than smooth. An ache in my back due to it being the beginning of my cycle was supporting a less than stellar feeling. In the practice of being gentle, I gave myself permission to walk up to the edge of the cliff and sit.
As I sat there I thought about how, in a few days time, my back ache would go away and this miraculous cliff of sand would too. I thought about how much the ocean changes, sometimes unpredictably so, which is what makes it so wild and beautiful. I couldn’t help but think about how if we only applied that to ourselves, in our own constant and ever changing tides and flows as humans, we would be so much better off. A lot of the modern day human action is for the purpose of sustaining only what we know. What is already in place. Too often we look at change as something to be fixed, a burden to be admonished. Even as it keeps on coming, we do all we can to ward it off, to fight it or even deny it.
As I sat on this solid sandy cliff that would itself recede back into the ocean, I thought about how when growth and change stops, death happens. Figuratively speaking, when people decide that this is just how they are and how they will continue to be and the goal remains to maintain stasis, it’s an emotional and energetic death. And literally when the body stops growing and changing, on a cellular level, it dies. To pursue growth and change, to even dare to embrace it, is to pursue and embrace being alive, in my opinion.
It can get rough and cliffs will form, but rough can be beautiful. Just as beautiful as the days when everything is as calm and cool as glass. But even glass has to get heated up and changed in order for it to be so. And when it is done, it ceases to change unless it is broken. May we be done changing and growing, only when we take our final breath. And even then, I’m not sure we’re done.
What do you think?
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.