As I write this during the month of August, some of you may have been or will be going to the seaside. For me the sounds of the crashing waves, the different ‘taste’ of the air blowing in off the water, even the rhythm of the waves and tides, have a calming effect on my soul and will always remain a special place.
When meditating, it is often the case that I cannot ‘defocus’ from the day that has been or the day that is to be. I find that visualising the crashing waves and imagining their sound on the shore is a sure route to pacifying my teeming mind.
To walk along the beach barefoot is a wonderful thing. My footprints mark the shore and show my path, the clear steps, the turns, the pauses, and even the place where I turned back to look. And yet, like the Creator’s forgiveness, they will soon be wiped clean by the tide leaving no trace. I remember one such walk as the tide turned. I was fascinated to watch the water slowly clean the sand of the marks that I had made.
Above photo by James Doney
Lines in the sand
I draw a line in the sand
And watch the tide come in
I watch the line yield to the sea
Like the ticking seconds of time
The marks will never be seen again
All wiped out by the waves and time
But look, the salty water leaves a line
A long and coloured curtain in the sand
Still more patterns drape along this line
They point to where the line once was
And the ghost of my old footprints there
From where I stood and drew the line
But to those who are just passing by
There is no meaning in the sand
But for the one who stood there
And left prints and drew a line
The history of the picture
So with the passing of the waves
And as I leave this place behind
All these memories will be lost
In time like a teardrop that
Has fallen into the sea
When a rock first falls from a cliff and lands on the sand, it is rolled to and fro by the waves, maybe even tumbled over. But return some tides later and you will find it has bedded into the sand firm enough to stand on while the waves now flow around its base.
Likewise, have you ever stood barefoot in the gentle waves of an incoming tide. The salty water starts to undermine the soles of your feet, and with each passing wave you are slowly lowered into the sand.
Being rocked to and fro in life, even tumbling and being knocked over, can be a very uncomfortable experience. Sometimes His Spirit washes over us and undermines us from the things that we currently stand on and depend on.
After that discomfort we may then find that we are now more secure and stable, even perhaps closer to the bedrock beneath.