Every year, as the warmer seasons fade, I feel a calling to visit the ocean. In times of hardship, I want to sink my toes into the salty sand. When I feel adrift, I want to breathe in the tidal air. In no year have I felt these things stronger than this year. No one will ever say that 2020 was without its challenges and crises. That makes the relief and rejuvenation I get from visiting the coast that much more important. More than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, we need to pull together as a community and as a country. I feel like we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable but strong. That, to me, is the ocean’s lesson. So, for this month’s “River Reflections” column I decided to do something entirely different. I want to share a poem with you. I hope that it provides you with peaceful images and feelings of gratitude for the beauty that nature still offers us. And I hope that it can give encouragement to stay strong, vigilant and purposeful in a year like no other.
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Funny the way a man is drawn to the sea – so longing in his desire to be wetted by the salty mist and kissed by the reflective sun. The waves speak to a heavenly rhythm often drowned out by the rigors of his earthly dance.
The tones of crash and sand mix sweetly with the distant trace of laughter and happy cheers of children being chased by the crashing tide. The sounds themselves unlock a softer side of our souls.
A lesson in there, scope of sight stretched thin. Not to be feigned, fought but to be truly soaked in. What violent torrents of white foamed rolls, swelled up from the treacherous sea, yet stretch to a solid flat line that reach infinity.
Gentle shades of green, brown and blue somehow mix together creating something entirely new. So timeless and wonderful are her treasures and lust, that time slows down here… resting into a gentle hush.
The secret healing of the sea comes from being defined by her desire, her pace and her ability to be free. One’s heart, spirit and mind find strength in that surrender, to chase that which we know we should and must be. We are reminded that we are not the architects, but the passengers, of this ride. So our chest opens widely – passions have nowhere to hide.
What purpose could there be in trying to hold back these waves? They are eternal, restless and intent on things that go well beyond the grave. Be like the oceans, discern the ebb and flow, the bitter sweet balance of tranquility and turmoil. Let them move your desire, set your pace and steady your hands so that others may be drawn to you, as you yourself are drawn to the sea. Provide strength to your fellow man.
Matt Mittan is the owner of Biz Radio Asheville and Co-Host of the Matt & Michele Outdoors program. Visit www.MattMittan.com for more information and to contact him.