Recently I find myself adopting an evening ritual. Taking my pillow and blanket down to the beach before sunset, I change out of my shorts into long pants and lay down to read and write. Tonight it was the beautiful masterpiece Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams and the jotting down the beginnings of a poem about being bumped by a whale. So many poignant passages in Refuge:
“I am slowly, painfully discovering that my refuge is not found in my mother, my grandmother, of even the birds of Bear River. My refuge exists in my capacity to love. If I can learn to love death then I can begin to find refuge in change.”
The full moon stands up in the east, the epitome of change, the later summer sun reclines to the west. Seagulls soar and sandpipers scurry, while sand flies feast on rotting seaweed.
As it floats under the horizon, I add layers and sit up to meditate. Sometimes I can, sometimes not. Tonight I ‘fail’ after a few minutes.
But I do notice how this ocean seems to somehow simultaneously embody change and permanence, stillness and motion. I think this is the same ocean I saw up north earlier this summer. 🙂
Sometimes it is too powerful for me to handle. I’m a man of the mountains and forest and cornfields, not waves. I confess, it’s a mystery to me.
Yet I realize now that everything waves.
But lately it is soothing. It washes out all that is still too rigid in me. Then I change once again into sleeping clothes and climb into the car for the night, the eye of the moon shining down on me, a silent collaborator.