I feel most alive by the water.
It is part of the tag line of my blog, after all, a reference to Jesus and the holy spirit to be sure. But also to the dive in and be engulfed by, mountain lakes and titanic oceans.
My dad grew up in a little (at the time) town called Whiterock, pacific ocean caressing the edge of a vast continent, with white sand beach between. I spent my summers camping one or two nights beside the crisp surface of mountain lakes. My family was on our way from the hot, dry and windy southern Alberta prairies, (with our gophers and tumbleweed) to the vast, soothing coast, (with its ocean creatures and seaweed) to visit my dad’s family.
My aunt and uncle, who are also my godparents, lived during the summer on a small sailboat, rocking between all the seemingly infinite gulf islands. Their only child was just two years older than me and as we were the type of cousins who wished (and often pretended) to be sisters, I got to travel with them on their boat for a week or so every summer. Oh the adventures we had out on the waves, feeling the salt water crash over our feet while we sat on the bow of the boat, long legs dangling over the edge. We would play mermaids, submerged in water that could be so cold our whole bodies would tingle. Reunited with my family, I would hike the shorelines, build castles decorated with discarded clam shells and swim. Always there was swimming.
Perhaps this was the beginning of why the ocean still calls to me deep and strong. Why I feel God there. Why when I am by the ocean it is hard to believe there isn’t a God who loves us all deeply, beautifully, fully, with purpose. Why I can feel that God desires to have us all, each and every one reconciled with God’s holiness. (Especially those who are hurt by others, but at the sea I can think, even and maybe most the ones who hurt others. Because we all are both, hurt and hurter.)
Why I can believe that God weeps with me over all the things in this world that break away at my heart. Why I can believe that God, really and truly holds all of us in loving, calloused hands. Why I can believe that it is all going to be okay, one day. Why when I sit and watch the waves roll endlessly, endlessly in, all is well, in my soul, in my soul.
I just spent two weeks camping beside the sea with those I love the most. I am full. I am on the ferry ride that starts the journey home. Telling my ocean loving son how although I have seen whales many times, it has been years since I have seen wild orcas and only once on the ferry. I am feeling sad, melancholy, to be leaving already, leaving ever, this holy ground.
I am taking many, many pictures of the stunning sky, with hopes of capturing something for our walls to reclaim this wholeness, on long, cold, dry, Alberta winter days. Breathing in my last breaths of salty, fishy, fresh, oxygen. Feeling the stickiness of humid air in my hair. Then, just like that, just like a mirage, just like a miracle, over on the port side there is a pod of orcas, breeching, shooting, living through the water. I am weeping and I don’t care who sees me. Because this is what is saving me right now.
I feel most alive by the water.
Linking up with Sarah Bessey to share (one of the things) that is saving me right now with her What is saving me right now syncroblog. Will you share too? (And I haven’t read ‘Leaving Church’ yet, but it is up near the top on my (ever growing) list.)