“It doesn’t matter if you go to the ocean to fill up a thimble or a bucket, the ocean doesn’t care”
– Wayne Dyer
There is no better place to ask questions than beside the ocean.
Because the ocean doesn’t care.
You can wade into the ocean fat and white, with puckered thighs and dimpled cheeks. You can lounge on its sandy shores, bronzed and lean and strong.
The ocean doesn’t care.
You may race into the surf with the reckless abandonment of youth, or tip toe along the barely wet outer limits with the deliberateness of age. The waves will pound and ebb regardless.
The ocean doesn’t care.
The ocean just is. At 3 in the morning you can hear the same melodic whoooosh that was playing at 3 in the afternoon. It plays whether you listen or not. It plays not for an audience, but because it is the ocean.
The ocean can cool you or soothe you or kill you. Each possibility is always there, whether you swim into it or not. It’s not personal, it is simply what the ocean does.
The ocean is at once constant and changing. Living and non thinking. It churns and spins without your hand, without your guidance, without your watchful eye.
You can stand at the ocean an utter mess, and it will continue to roll regardless.
The ocean will wait for you, because the ocean doesn’t care.
This is a safe place to ask your questions. It’s a safe place to air your doubts and let the questions percolate and and bounce and taunt and bloom. Questions have no power over the ocean, and the ocean doesn’t bother to offer answers. You look up from your belly button, and there is the ocean still. Rolling and crashing, ebbing and flowing, exactly the same as it was before you, just as it will after you.
Mercifully, the ocean doesn’t care.
I sat with the ocean this weekend and let the questions roll in time with the surf.
Back and forth, stronger and then weaker. The sun rose and set, the light waxing and waning as the days slipped by, and always there was the ocean.
I gave my questions legs, and then walked along the beach with them. And I wasn’t afraid, because the ocean remained the same.
And finally, I found my center.
There, in my center, is where I hold hope. There is where I am not too weak to wait for him, knowing I will survive if he never arrives. There I have the strength to love him and myself, without fear or shame or guilt.
There, in my center, is where I hold love. And patience. And strength. And understanding.
There, in my center, is where I hold faith. The years will come and the stories will unfold. The path will continue to unfurl at my feet, and I will keep walking as it does. And always, the ocean will be there.
I packed up my things yesterday, loading my books and my clothes back into the suitcase I’d hauled them out of two days earlier. I filled the trunk of my car and signed my name on the hotel receipt. I tossed the parking permit on the floor beneath my front seat and turned towards home, putting the ocean behind me. I whispered goodbye in my rearview mirror.
And the ocean didn’t care.