The ocean has always scared me. I love it but it scares me.
I love the water. I can’t live without it. I’ve always said, I would never live where there was no water nearby. I grew up on an island surrounded by water in the middle of the Puget Sound with coves and coastlines every which way. However, the Puget Sound never scared me*. It was a protected body of water or at least confined by cities and towns. It wasn’t unpredictable and wild like the ocean.
The ocean, I have always loved from afar, or merely from the shore, just my toes in the water. The giant waves and stories of rip tides and jelly fish always terrified me. It was all very unknown and unpredictable. Even now, the ocean scares me, but I still need it; I still crave it. I have days, fairly often too, when I wake up and I just need to see the ocean and be near it. When I can, I just jump in my car and go. I don’t know what exactly it is in me that needs to see the ocean, but seeing it up close soothes me. Maybe it’s seeing nature in all its fury and power, being reminded that this life is not mine to control and resting in a power much greater than myself.
I woke up the other morning with this quote running through my head.
“Love is tricky. It is never mundane or daily. You can never get used to it. You have to walk with it, then let it walk with you. You can never balk. It moves you like the tide. It takes you out to sea, then lays you on the beach again. Today's struggling pain is the foundation for a certain stride through the heavens. You can run from it but you can never say no. It includes everyone.” –Amy Tan
That part about being moved like the tide, being taken out to sea and laid on the beach again, that resonated with me all day. Love is just like that. I am finding parallels more and more often lately between the ocean and love and God. I love the ocean. I love God. I love love. I need those things but at the same time I fear them with all that I have in me. I can’t predict any of them. There is a power in all three that I can’t ignore and it scares me but at the same time I find comfort in knowing it is not my role to control them. Each one has the power to take me out to sea and lay me back upon the shore. Just like there are times when I need to see the ocean, there are times when I need to be loved and I there are times when I need God (which let’s be honest, is all the time).
It's not easy being moved by something more powerful than myself and it's scary. I can't predict when the tide will pull me out or lay me on the shore. Yet, I still choose it. I hope I always do.
I trust that it's building something greater in me and shaping me more into the woman I am created to be.
"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for." Grace Murray Hopper
*Though, I will forever be terrified of the largest documented octopus in the world, which is said to live in the Puget Sound (shudder).