"I Am the Ocean" (part 1)
I think of the foamy edges of waves on a shore, reaching to break free before being pulled back, over and over again stretching out, and over and over again being pulled back in. And maybe they feel frustrated, maybe they just want to be still. But it’s steady. And it’s constant. And though it’s the same, it’s ever changing. Watching the waves is soothing. Why does the motion of rocking—the back and forth, the in and out—put us at peace? Though we resist, we are created to move. We are often terrified of change but the change is vital. If things stayed the same we would be miserable. We would not be filled. We would not know growth; we would not know pleasure; we would not know life.
So much is changing in me, all around me. With each sun and moon I am surrendered to the motion. I am on a beautiful ride, caught in a whirlwind. I always thought that the waves would reach their freedom upon the sandy shores, and I always thought my own freedom would be something I fought for, reached for, grasped for. But it turns out, the freedom was in the ocean all along, not the shore. On the shore, the waves break and dry up. When I reach for the shores of the world, my body is broken and my bones are dry. It is the ocean that I am ultimately drawn to: belong to. I cannot deny it, no matter how hard I try. I will fall back and surrender to its mighty pull every time. Because there is life in the depths. There is joy in the waves. There is freedom in the unknown.
And I’ve been called deeper. I am going further. And the crazier it gets – the deeper I go – the more I find myself drenched in joy and surrounded with peace. He says to me, “I am the Ocean.” And I see it. I believe it. Vast and powerful, mysterious and beautiful, life giving and taking. It’s all there. And suddenly I’m all here too.
You see, I’d been scattered for so long. Picking up pieces here and there like shells in the sand. It felt like such a hopeless cause. Gathering my brokenness all the while growing dryer and more fragile, leaving behind more of myself than I could possibly collect.
But that’s not me anymore. I found a well, or maybe the well found me. I tapped into this quenching source, this oil that never seems to run out. I’m led away from the dry ground and back to the shore, back to the waves, and into the ocean.