There’s something about the ocean that has this tight grasp on my heart. When I see pictures of it, when I watch videos of it, when my toes are tickled by the lapping waves my heart beats a little faster and I get excited. I don’t live by it (obviously), but for being born and raised in the prairies I’ve managed to spend a good amount of time staring at it’s vastness. I can’t really pinpoint the exact moment that it’s beauty seeped deep down into my soul but I do remember loving it from early on. It could have been on one of our trips to Mexico as a child, or it could have been walking along the beaches in California, or possibly seeing rows upon rows upon rows of boats in Annapolis, or living on ‘The Gully Wumper’ experiencing the thrill that sailing brings.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the prairies. They are unbelievably majestic in their own right, but the ocean has a hold on me in a way that the prairies never will. I find myself longing to see it, to dangle my feet in it, to hear the roar of the crashing waves.
The ocean became a spiritual place for me when I was in Australia. My good friend Jen and I decided to take a boat tour out to see the reef (cuz who goes all the way to Australia and misses that!?). What some people may not know is that the reef is about, depending where you were docked, a good hour out into open water…there is NOTHING around, save for a few other boats with tourists. You can either go scuba diving or you can snorkel, and we choose to snorkel. I can’t think of anything that could top the thrill of diving into open ocean, the possibility of nearby sharks (and that wasn’t an assumption, they told us there were sharks), not being able to see the bottom, and swimming for my life just to get on top of the reef. It was crazy. My friend took in a huge gulp of salt water and spent the rest of the time sick on the boat, so that left me to fend for myself. I paid a lot of money to get out there and for all I knew it might be my last chance to see the reef, I didn’t want to waste it. So on our second dive I went in by myself, scooted over to the reef and began taking in the sea turtles, the coral and all the little fish. What truly hit me out there in the open water was the vastness of it all, the beauty of it all, the depth of it all and the wildness of it all. We can never measure the ocean (we are still discovering new pockets and new species) and we can never tame the ocean. It is big and fierce. And what I couldn’t get out of my mind was how much bigger and how much deeper is God and his love for us.
When I was in Mexico with Rhys and Amelia I tried to spend as much time as possible by the ocean. Rhys hated it and Ammie was too young to take her in, but I stole away and had little moments by it and all of the same feelings about God came flooding back. Maybe that’s why I’m longing for the ocean, I’ve had a few special encounters with God and adventure by it and maybe I’m feeling like I need some more. That’s probably it, now that I’ve written all of this down (again, writing helps me process), but I do love the ocean. I hope and pray that I will have many more opportunities to look out onto the magnificent blue waters and contemplate it’s wildness and beauty.
(photo taken by a friend, sarah jenkins.)