Healing Tides

Close your eyes. Hear the sounds of waves crashing on the shoreline. Smell the

salt air. See the blues and purples on the horizon where the water and mountains meet. Feel the heat of the smooth sandstone under your feet. Connect with the rhythm and the power of walking on a beach. Close your eyes and let your senses guide you.

As I interact with the ocean, my spirit is renewed. One of my favourite books reminded me of how important this place is to my wellness, helping me to find the courage to listen to my true self and return.

In The Dance, Oriah Mountain Dreamer shares her belief that "for each of us there is at least one place on earth where our hearts and our bodies are mended and renewed. We need to find and go to these places if we are to learn how to dance.” And I do.

Now, I often bring my four-year-old daughter. To watch her jumping across the rocks, or searching with delight for shore crabs, or better yet, to jump and search with her, adds such joy.

We smile. We laugh. We search in silence together, hoping to discover treasures on the beach. We wish for whales to pass by. We glide through the water in our kayak. We rescue sea stars at low tide. We dream of new adventures. And of course no matter what season, a picnic is mandatory, usually upon arrival.

The ocean has become our special place. It is the place where she chooses to spend time with me over anyone else. We look at each other differently at the ocean, and it’s as if she can see my truth. It somehow becomes so clear there.

How had I forgotten all these pleasures? It is amazing how escaping the stress of daily life by retreating to the ocean, no matter how briefly, can change my entire being. It calms me. It makes me a better mother. It makes me a better me. I already knew the effect that the ocean had on me. But in my quest for depth and insight there, what I had forgotten was the fun.

My healing place has now become a place where my daughter sees me at my core. And I see it becoming part of her. Perhaps it’s part of the gift that we have exchanged with each other. I brought her to Vancouver Island to share the gifts of the ocean, and she has brought a reminder of childhood pleasure to the healing quality of this place. Either way, the laughter has added to the sounds of the surf that have become a powerful healing force in my life. As she engages in her own journey, I hope it will do the same for her.

Where is your place of wellness on this earth? Go there, and remember to take your childhood spirit!