The inspiration for this piece came to me during hurricane season, Fiona had passed by on its way to Canada, and Ian was approaching the Gulf. Mercury was in retrograde and Jupiter was visible in the night sky. It was the perfect storm.
The ocean called to me. Her voice was heard in the pounding surf, and in the gentle ripples washing up to the shore. She sang to me: the sounds of the water were music, piano, then the whitecaps staccato, building to a crescendo and then softly receding. Every sound was a note, and a message. Still the song of the sea informed my soul.
My eyes saw nothing but beauty, and the sacred colors of nature. The ocean was a spectacle of contrast, of reflection, and of icy cold—all shown to me as a spectrum of greys, blues, greens, whites, and browns. The art was a story for me, and it spoke to my soul.
Now I taste the air. The salt from the sea is carried on the damp breeze. It chills me and thrills me. The salt taught me of Lot’s wife*, and the infant Israel**. I breathe it in, her substance. It settles on my skin, and in my hair. She covers me with her soft manna. It nourishes my soul.
Feel the wind. Feel the pounding of the waves, into the earth. All is connected, as it resonates in my heart, and beneath my feet. I am moved, I am awestruck, and at once I am at peace. Like the cycle of the tides is the emotional human. Clashing, changing, rushing, and becoming still—we ebb and flow, we rise and we recede. Within is an ecosystem teeming with life, and there is also death. This, my soul knows.
Her scent will remain with me long after I leave. City life, traffic, chores and jobs—within the chaos of daily life I will still smell the brine, the life, the wetness and the salt. It will never leave me. My soul will always remember.
Darkness falls. I still hear, taste and smell, although I cannot see. The wind remains steadfast, the music continues. Stars appear, but no moon. Now I see patterns in the sky, a familiar design. The map of the heavens reminds me that what seems a great mystery, is within our very DNA. We are made from the dust of the stars, the salt of the earth, and the water of the oceans. Where is my home? Is it here, in the blackness, at the edge of power and glory? Or is it there, a distant memory, a locked capsule, held in the nucleotides of my body. The key lies in the genetic code, still sleeping, waiting for the moment of awakening and activation. All this I learn at the shoreline, in the blackness of night.
Shivering and tired, I await the sunrise. As it approaches, the colors are warm, the day sings a new song, and the story ends for now. But the majesty of dusk, the distant knowing of the nighttime, and the intensity of dawn have forever become a part of me. And even as a foreigner in this world, I have become a part of it. All is well with my soul.
*“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26 KJVAAE
**“And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.” Ezekiel 16:4 KJVAAE