BEACH NOTES: AN ECSTATIC REBALANCING
* (My open communion, on an isolated beach, in the wake of a passing tropical storm; Galveston Island, Texas; 9-8-02)
The day after the tropical storm blew through, the sky and air smelled and looked so pure, fresh and blue, especially after being purged with so much recent rain. The Sun's evaporation of the wet, soggy ground seemed to charge the humid air with vital solar power and the sweet, faint, bleach-like smell of ozone in the air. It seemed like a good idea for me to get outside to breathe it in, to help refresh and heal my lungs, which had been a little congested for a couple of weeks. At the same time I felt it might also help to rebalance and restore my diluted sense of connected wholeness with Creation, which had recently become somewhat weakened due to a lack of sufficient Sun and from isolating myself away in my apartment for too long.
Rained in for days, the clutter of peripheral distractions and the usual t.v. options crowded increasingly in. I needed some time and space away from myself and the stagnant density of town, to sort things out, to meditate and pray, in order to make better choices in the coming days ahead. When left alone by myself for too many days without sufficient intimacy with Nature, my mind gets too full of itself and needs to break away from the civilized world to re-nurture and make repairs. To commune on a much deeper level of integrity through the vehicle of my senses and skin with the natural world around me, where my body, mind and spirit can shift gears more easily into a purer harmony with CREATION. Fortunately, the far east end of Galveston Island, despite its recent jeopardy and abuse, has enough essential nature and "spirit of place" left in tact so that this fundamental reconnection can still be found and made, especially if you are lucky enough to find and experience it alone.
While riding down the seawall, four brown pelicans fly low in a row, gliding right above me, going my way, parallel to shore. Three miles down to the east on the more isolated end of this long strip of storm ravaged beach, the tides are still fairly high, but now appear to be going out. Storm debris is washed up all along the lower dune line and in between where I ride my bike, the wet packed sand has been swept clean by tides, like a fresh new, sentient skin for me to ride and walk upon. Along the way, the only disruptions to its smooth, clean texture are the scattered foot prints of sand crabs and sea birds, the hieroglyphics of my bicycle's flowing, two-wheeled track and now here at my destination, the excited signature of my two bare feet, mark my presence in the sand, from towel to surf and back again, a dozen times or more at least! Here and there, where the sand lay high and dry, it sparkles in the sunlight around my toes like galaxies of tiny stars strewn beneath me, in twinkles of light which beckon up to my surrendered, absorbent gaze.
The warm, gentle sea breeze sweeping off the Gulf embraces me with the constant touch of it's friendly, intimate sweetness. Soon it's force picks up into a steady current as it's direction swings from southeast to northeast, now blowing continuously offshore, sending misty white manes of salty spray flying off the top of every rising, pitching wave, whose faces sparkle like shattered mirrors of mercurial radiance reflected from the Sun, now slipping in and out between random passing clouds. The roar of surf, becomes a breathing, mystic prayer that fills my heart and ears, as the wind whips me into this pleasant state of euphoria. Bare skin warmed, my sweat runs down, sensuously into the receptive sand, returning my own moisture back into the interconnected loop of Earth, Sun, flesh, sweat, sand, sea, sky, cloud, rain, Earth, Sun, flesh, sweat, sand, sea, sky, cloud, rain... again and again and again, on and on and on, in it's wondrous, subtle dance!...
With no one else around, I take off all my clothes to freely honor my primal, sacred right to surrender my natural being more openly to this living prayer, in and within everything, everywhere all around me. To more deeply, honestly and profoundly commune with the interconnected oneness of everything! Savoring in fascination and joyous awe, the simple wonder and beauty of everything I sense, see and feel here, so vibrantly and lucidly alive! The natural, innate grace of simply recognizing the greater Oneness, I'm so keenly and gratefully aware that I and all things are truly an inseparable part of!
Swimming out into the rushing surf, waves still spinning off the dissipating tailwinds of the now more distant storm, moving ever more inland, cool weightless calm supports and overwhelms me for peaceful, savored, timeless moments, as I float on my back in this kinetic, liquid dance of life in this living, vast body of bouyant salt water, wherein I briefly become the serene eye witness of everything here around me, at peace with all my previous concerns, much like the open, calm eye of storm, which only yesterday passed this way, to leave here in it's savagely ravaged wake, this bright, new day, purged so startlingly fresh and clean, renewed and clear!
Wading in through the surf, I relish the joyous laugh of every happy splash that slaps my wet, white, naked ass, so bright here under this loving Sun! Stepping out of the Gulf's living water, onto the tide-slick sand, shiny as a sheet of glass, I see the silver sunlight dancing up my legs and thighs, reflected from the wet sand mirror below my feet, standing sole to sole with my naked image, seen upside down beneath me. As the graceful flow of light plays up the contours of my legs, I touch and feel my golden flesh with my loving hands, then raise them up into this ever-ripening bluer sky, increasingly clearing high above me, where looking directly for a moment, into the blinding glory of the Sun, with one deep, full breath I exclaim out loud, “Thank you CREATOR, thank you CREATION for my precious life!!!”... Wherein this simple act, I quickly realize, my intended prayer now feels complete, done in this spontaneous way, which seems to have come so naturally to me, spontaneously born out of the beauty and utter wonderment of my open, free intimacy with this Sacred day!... Now feeling contentedly undone, sufficiently in this short time, to just the degree I needed to get undone!... Three hours alone here in this primal, elemental communion of my senses, spirit, mind and flesh with Earth, Sea, Sky and Sun, has restored the rebalancing of all I sought, for inside me now, a buoyant light and child like warmth fills my heart with such vibrant joy!
As the wind dries my skin and the Sun continues to brown me, I pick up a stick to draw in the sand, a circle all around me with a hole at it's center and four long lines radiating out from it's circumference marking the four cardinal directions. As I draw it's final lines, a light rain begins to fall, partially dissolving all the lines I've drawn behind me. With each line gradually healing into the slightest scar, I stand here at the center of my Sun symbol and watch it all fade around me, back into the smooth, even texture of undisturbed sand, like another new, sentient skin for me to walk and ride upon again. As the circle quickly vanishes around me, I raise my hands to the Sun once again, now slightly hidden behind this passing cloud's soothing shadow and it's tenderly sprinkling, baptismal, cleansing shower, which now sends it's healing sprinkles down to gently and ecstatically touch me here, where underneath it's delicate dance of tiny raindrops on my face, upon my flesh and receptive earth, I take in yet another, slow, deep, full breath, to rejoice out loud once more, “Thank you CREATOR, thank you CREATION for my precious life!!!”...