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Grains of Sand

Under water sea turquoise

Can you hold your breath and know LIFE?

Grains of sand rustle restlessly along the sea floor, a distant whisper reaching into her consciousness from the depths, like a muffled mantra of peace.

Floating effortlessly, like a starfish, eyes closed, sun warm, sea buoyant and gently breathing. She pauses. Life pauses. Or does it?

How many creatures, she wonders are in the infinite depth and breadth of sea? Busy with life. And how far does the sea reach? The sea caressing her skin, holding her aloft like an offering to the sky. Surrender. Surrender to the moment.

To the infinite blue of the sky. To the turquoise when she slowly turns and opens her eyes under water. The colour of her soul. She knows this. “I am in my true place” she professes silently. This turquoise that dilutes to aqua green as she gazes, breath held, to the sea floor below.

Lichen covered rocks and patches of dark sea grass waving in the currents are silent while the sands continue to and fro, creating the soft golden ridges like the roof of the mouth, like miniature dunes from desert winds sculpting grains of sand.

Too far to touch with her toes unless she takes a deep breath and plunges with purpose to the depths. Still, the sea, the salt will raise her up, up to bob on the surface. One with the sea, yet not of the sea.

One with life. Hers and all the creatures, grains of sand, the breeze.

The boy with the long fishing pole, perched on the rock, calling to his father, a dark silhouette against the sun lowering into the sea and casting a golden trail across the ripples patterning the surface of swells. Water on water. Ripples. Sparkling light dance.

And her love, over there, floating, eyes closed, like a starfish. Breathing with the sea. The same sea touches his skin as touches hers. Love forever binds them thus. Separate, yet bound gently in space. In sea. In heart.

And the old men, one at a time come to swim in the evening as the heat subsides and day’s work is done. Who are they? A fisherman, a banker, a plumber? What were they before they became just a man in swimming trunks? Does it matter? A human being. Called to the sea on a hot summer evening.

The sea embraces all. Unconditionally.

One, with a cane, picks his way over the uneven rocks with insolent patches of tar spewed without regard by ships literally passing in the night. At the base of the breakwater built of boulders, cast like a giant might toss them, create the little harbour within the arc that protects brightly painted fishing and pleasure boats. The man plunges into the warm sea and he becomes a boy. A porpoise. One with the sea. No cane necessary. The sea knows this well.

Ahh this is life she thinks. Care-free for a moment. But then she realized that cares are only perceptions, thought ripples of a mind.

And how many thoughts has she had since her birth into this body? Are they all still there? Somewhere? How many grains of thought ripple through her mind every minute? Every day? Every lifetime? Hers and others?

Do they all lie restless at the bottom of her consciousness? Making patterns in her life? In the fluidity of choice and consequence do they give her peace? Do they make her fearful of sharks and other unseen and unknowable influences? Things that might move past her in the depths? Menacing in their strangeness but not in their benign intent. Just there. Alive. In life. Now.

Do these grains of thought eventually settle into patterns of experience? And what is experience but the endless waves washing onto the rocks, swirling and drawing back into themselves. The sea. Into itself. Ebbing and flowing. Effortless.

Can we time ourselves and be propelled by the movement of life. Do we dare flow with life. Or do we struggle over urchin crusted rock, ever in perceived danger of pain? Following the eons of teaching that life must be hard. A struggle. A sacrifice.

But that’s not what the sea is saying. The sea. The waves. One and the same. Ebb and flow. One with her. One with me. I am that.