I count on a stretch of time at the beach just to sit and listen. Depending on her mood, the ocean soothes in quiet laps. It spits and snarls out the last of storms far beyond the horizon I see from my little perch. It teases small children determined to make the waves in the shallows bow to their dominance. It buoys surfers ranging from wobbly beginners to lithe, confident riders who swing up, cruise in.
Quiet or loud, placid or tempermental, the ocean is constant in its reach and withdrawal.
I count on a stretch of time at the beach to just sit and watch. The sky fascinates morning to night (even as I avoid the midday). Dawn is a rowdy orange and vibrant pink that give any sunset a run for the money. Dawn is gray and lavender stealing the dark from the sky. Dawn is water that reflects steel then silver that gives way to blue under the relentless rise of the sun every day.
Evening offers a soothing stretch of quiet that waits for the moon rise and the stars to blink on. The mind lets go of the day as the lungs breathe in the salt air in rhythm with the surf. And when the stars blink into focus, you recognize how small we are.
I begin each day in the dark before dawn, I end in the dark after sunset. Constant, unceasing watch over ocean and sky, to fill the soul before heading back in to start or end the day.
When I’m not here, the surf still dances on the sand. The sun still rises, the moon still glides in waxing and waning grace.
My job is to dip into the overflowing soul and remember the constancy of the surf, the sun and the moon. And breath in and out in unison.