The end of summer has dawned upon us over here in the Southern Hemisphere and whilst the weather Gods reckon it ended on the 28th February, the actual Gods have turned up the volume on the sun and I sit here on March 10th looking out of my window at the glorious blue sky and waiting for my bikini to dry from the rinse after yesterdays swim in the sea so that I may wear it again today for another baptism.
Yes, I said baptism as this is what it feels like. After going swimming in something that is larger than life, larger than comprehension, so insatiable and uncontrollable as the ocean you feel renewed and cleansed from the inside out.
Not to get all religious about it, but I'm going to quote the Bible. Actually, I don't think it gets more religious than that but there you go. This is a verse from the book of Romans and is as popular at church baptisms as the funky chicken is at weddings and it goes like this:
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I often ponder whether the ocean was gifted to us as a tool to obtain clarity and focus. From the moment we are conceived, the moment daddy's tadpole hits mummy's egg (ew) we live in water for 9 months. It is our first natural state. We are then born perfect. Free of insecurity, of fear, of corrupt thoughts and opinion as we take our first breath of air.
And then, like a fish out of water, we are immediately vulnerable to the ways of this world. Our parents, our teachers, our friends, our siblings, the creepy man next door, a selfish boss, the masses who love shit music, the people who break our heart, our best friends, our enemies, the colleagues who we spend more time with than our own families, the way we lost our virginity or the way we found out that Santa wasn't real (same thing)..all these people, all these things and experiences begin to mould and shape our mind. They distract us from the very core of who we really are and how we really think. We have the power to influence therefore we are easily influenced. We become a link in the pattern of this world and they way we think is not really the way we think...if you know what I mean.
The ocean, the huge majestic and unfathomably bottomless body of undrinkable water will help to wash away excess thoughts leaving you with only the ones you know to be true. An angry sea with relentless waves is best for a relentless mind. Calm waters are good for contemplation and an evening swim with a sunset is the best setting for reflection. But whatever condition your waters are in, they will all make you feel vulnerable again as well as the best feeling of all...insignificant.
It is that feeling of insignificance that will enable you to see the bigger picture in whatever situation you have found yourself in. It reminds us how big the world is and how small we are in it. It helps to wash away hurtful thoughts and intentions towards yourself and others and if your mind and eyes are open wide enough, you will discover that the answer to everything lies inside of you and has yet to be corrupted and with the result, the world becomes a more enticing place to be and that, my dear readers, is what being grateful is all about.