Feeling the Flow of the Ocean and Relating to it as Kin
To me, the ocean is kin. For my entire life, I’ve never spent more than a few months at time any further than two miles from a beach. And I’m pretty sure saltwater runs through my son’s veins. He’s a surfer. He’s been a surfer since he was two, and if you asked him then, he’d have told you he was a pro surfer. He was indeed blessed and fortunate enough to grow up to be a pro and because of it, he’s been to countless countries all over the planet. He’s been immersed in all the waters from the tropics of the south pacific, to the north Atlantic in the arctic circle, to the deep and wild waters off the southern most tip of Tasmania and the most shark infested waters of South Africa.
I feel a special connection with the oceans who have held my most precious human ever so carefully, sometimes, and not so carefully at other times. We’ve never judged the ocean for the not so careful times. We knew the risks. It’s an interesting experience as a mom to be naturally concerned for your child’s welfare and safety when they’re away from you, yet keep it to yourself because you know he has to go. You know you can’t hold him back because of your own fears.
On his first trip to Namibia, on the south western coast of Africa, he was going to be out of contact for the time he was there. I was supportive and excited and proud, while also in awe of him for his guts to go for his dreams, yet nervous because of that “being a mom” thing.
The first night he was there, I went to the beach at sunset. Even though I was facing east, the twilight sky was still my favorite. I stood in the water, feet sinking into the sand, waves washing up around my knees and with the spray throwing a salty mist on my face, I was comforted. As I did the math to figure out what time it was in Africa, I turned a little to the south, trying to put a picture on my mental map of where he was at, on the far side of this Atlantic ocean.
In a transcendent moment, space and time disappeared. I gained an awareness that even though he was on different dirt, on a separate piece of earth, thousands of miles away, we were still connected by the ocean. Me in Florida. He in Africa. But our feet were in the same water. We were connected. He didn’t seem so far away. And then as quickly as that feeling washed over me, I realized this is how we are all connected. Not just me with my son in that moment, but all of us with everyone, everywhere, all the time.
We create borders on land to separate us, but the water, it flows across borders and boundaries and lines of latitudes and longitudes and international datelines. The water doesn’t know or care about our differences or our distances. The water is, what it is. It follows it’s nature. It flows. It moves. It connects. It makes us one.
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