Ever since I was little, whenever life got overwhelming, or a problem was rattling around like a pinball in my brain, there was always one spot I would go…
The beach by our family cottage was my place of solitude. I especially loved heading down to the water right before a storm – settling into the gritty sand still warm from the afternoon sun, watching the sky turn a deep, ominous shade of purply grey as the clouds rolled in, the soothing sound of the white capped waves lashing the shore, inhaling that indefinable smell that tinges the air moments before the skies open to release the rain drops.
Watching the wall of rain as it moved across the surface of the lake towards me, each of my senses was alert, focused on the approaching storm, obliterating any jumbled thoughts that had been occupying my head.
Later, when I moved to the West Coast, living by the ocean brought a similar feeling of calm but the sensation became so much more intense.
The rhythmic sound of the ebbing swells block out the white noise that constantly clutters my mind.
The sweet, salty air entices me to breathe a little deeper – filling my lungs with fresh, clean air & clearing the fog shrouding my thoughts.
The powerful waves crashing against the rocks is humbling and reminds me that there are things out there so much bigger than me – that the idea or moment I’ve been obsessing about is nothing but a ripple, not just in the big picture of the world but within my own life.
And when I grab my board and head into the surf, I surrender control and any ego sluices away with the first few cleansing paddle strokes.
In those calm moments before the next set rolls in there is a stillness as I float effortlessly, my board rocking gently with the swell, the water silky and cool on my dangling feet, the sun warm on my salty skin. This is when all distraction leaves my head. The noise stops. I can just… be.