September 16, 2010
Yesterday was such a beautiful, warm sunny day that instead of rushing straight home after work, I decided to grab some sushi and go sit on Byron main beach.
Living in Byron, you would think that going to the beach would be par for the course, especially during the warmer months, but more often than not, life has a way of keeping me locked into the daily grind of routine.
I am not sure what it is that drives me to do things differently, every now and again, but there is certainly something to be said for spontaneity.
Staring out at the crystal blue ocean and feeling the sand between my toes, reminded me of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful part of the country.
Content in my own little world, I watched happy children splashing about in the shallows, surfers riding the most perfect of waves and men and women (tourists mostly), perfecting their glorious suntans. Suddenly, this overwhelming sense of peace and calm swept over me, as I remembered that ever since I was 19 years old, I have been coming to the same beach (and almost the same spot), whenever life got me down.
In many ways, it was this beach that pulled me away from melbourne and up to Byron Bay, and like the countless array of travellers who frequent this beach all year round, it has become the place where I feel most at home.
Sitting there yesterday, I thought about the many different phases of my life, when I have come here to gather my thoughts and find clarity amongst the madness of living.
I sat here when I first fell pregnant with my son and wondered how I would cope being such a young mother. Again, I sat here - this time at sunset -when I was pregnant with Chilli seven years later. That evening, I met another new mother who asked me to hold her brand new baby so she could run naked into the ocean.
When I first made plans to go to Texas to meet up with Chance, it was here where I sat to calm my fears about beginning a brand new relationship and it was here where I sat, howling and weeping, not long after he died.
When my friend Nira was alive, we would come to this spot and talk about spirituality; she was my greatest teacher, the one person who practiced what she preached. Sadly, she too has passed on, but it is in this spot that I feel most connected to her remarkable spirit.
The thing that I find most comforting about this ocean, is the fact that its rhythm never changes. No matter what turmoil I may be encountering in my own life, no matter what chaos is occurring in my mind, everything about this ocean remains exactly the same as it has always been and as it will continue to be.
I think I come here when I need to be reminded to let go.
Sitting there yesterday, I thought back to the perfect summers afternoon I spent lazing on a picnic blanket with Nira when she was in the last month of her disease.....Long after I am gone, she said, you will sit here again, and everything that is troubling you now will seem as insignificant as these tiny grains of sand.
Knowing what I know now, about life and death, about joy and suffering, you would think it would be easier for me to step outside of burden of the mind, to stop believing my thoughts (Nira's words) - but sadly It isn't.
I still get pulled into the trap of believing my thoughts and investing in the suffering. But time and time again, I find myself coming back here to this beach when I am waking up from the dream of suffering. As if on some level, I need the ocean to help me put things into perspective.
Watching the dance gives me the assurance that I need to remember that all life is fleeting....to remember that long, long, long after I am gone, the waves will again crash down upon the shore.