I love to walk along the ocean shore and listen to the rhapsody of sound. The restless surging of waves; the tireless whisper of the breeze. I feel the gentle caress of salt-sea air as it brushes its fingers through my hair, kisses my cheek, and enwraps me in that place entirely.
I listen to the cries of the terns winging overhead upon the boundless open sky. I watch as the breakers roll and rush, building in majestically deliberate measure until their passion unfurls upon the shore with fervor and vigor. This ardor is not meant to last, however, for just as surely as the tide rushes forth it turns once more. Withdrawing back until the restless, crashing subsides and the touch of the sea upon the shore is tender, relaxed, quiet, and peaceful. Though they seem at odds, these mighty forces are bound together, merged into one harmonious union. They work in collaboration and their power is formidable, creating rhythm and balance for the entire planet.
Their beauty reaches into the soul, seeming to reconnect us with a time long forgotten. Perhaps that's part of the reason why so many of us are drawn to the ocean. The inexorable waxing and waning have a similar effect on all of us, causing us to stand in awe-struck wonder, pondering mysteries beyond comprehension. For me, they also cause questions to tumble in my mind, much like the surging waves.
Questions like: are not these rhythms, these harmonies, these moments of passion and fury, as well as the moments of serenity and calm like the nature that struggles within all of us? Doesn't the ocean, with its fretful motion and lush balm, seem very like the forces that rock and heave our world to and fro?
Often I compare them to the gentle whispers of spirit and the brusque volubility of the flesh that converse ceaselessly, communing with each other one moment and arguing the next. Like us, they coexist, yet seem to ever be at odds. While one reaches for what seems unattainable, the other grasps at the fleeting and transitory. They both want; they both yearn. One seeks harmony while the other craves immediate pleasure. They wax and wane within us like the ocean's tides and, like those tides, they can be beautiful or terrifying and destructive.
We often wish these two voices within us would speak harmoniously. We wonder why they argue? Why they are so intemperate; why they are always at odds, but the beauty and ferocity of the restless sea remind us that one cannot exist without the other. In nature, there are always two forces that create balance. Light and dark. Hot and cold. Wet and dry.
The lion and the lamb.
Balance requires two opposing forces. Forces that exist so we might learn from them. So we are able to see what balance is and understand the nature of nature. When we learn to accept the opposing forces within our nature and work with them, rather than struggling against them, we find balance
Everything we need to understand about balance exists at the ocean shore. The rushing waves, the restless breeze, the songs of seabirds, and the shifting sand exemplify the basic forces of life and how these forces exist together. They are all distinctly different; still, they unite to create a place that is irresistible, beautiful, and ever-changing.
Like you, like me.