Waves of Gratitude.
Free and drifting…
I looked back towards the shore, the sunbathers seemed so small on the sand… as I felt the ocean pulling me further and further out.
And I let it.
Assessing the situation, it appeared it might be difficult to swim straight back, but I wasn’t fearful, no compulsion to save myself.
Fairly confident (perhaps too self-assured) that if I wanted to go back, I could just swim with the tide a quarter mile towards the jetty.
Disregarding the activity waiting for me on the beach, I flipped over onto my back and stared up at the cloudless sky.
For a little while, I just wondered where to and how far the waves would take me… if I let them.
Wondered how vast this ocean expanse truly was.
Imagining how many people…
Treasures… were floating in the water with me in that very instant.
In this situation it would be fair to experience a feeling of insignificance. You know, feel somewhat… small.
But instead of embracing a sense of infinitesimal worth in this incredibly enduring world (of which I some times feel my lifespan may just be a flash in the pan), I experienced gratitude.
Sincere, heart-wrenching, gratitude.
It was a short entwinement with the salt water, a weightless dream of awe, but a stinging realization that this act of thanksgiving was scarce in my daily life.
I had been ungrateful.
I had not been actively appreciative for all the goodness that had been bestowed upon me — earned or otherwise undeserved.
When the solemn thought hit my heart, I let my body sink below the water, holding my breath until it hurt, until I broke the ocean’s surface gasping.
Gasping for life.
Breathing in every good thing, every bright bit of air… worthy of gratitude.
Stretching my arms out, I moved with the tide, pulling the gravity of the world’s deep-sea with every stroke, kicking with every fiber of my being.
Far from our beach-base, I rode my final wave up onto the shore, lying in the sand with some exhaustion.
Crisis can be good.
Midlife crisis, personal crisis, or even existential crisis in the middle of the ocean… can be good, if you do something about it.
If it forces you to change, to move, to gasp for life.
Dusting the matted sand from my body, I stood up, and started the long walk back.
Walking slowly, but walking in gratitude… with new appreciation.