I have been practicing my stare this week. I don’t mean the curious type of stare that my little one Ellie has mastered when strangers intrigue her, but rather a stare better described as a long drink of beauty. Before this week I have never thought about practicing my stare, but I have found that doing so has opened a new world of functional meditation to me that I might not have otherwise discovered.
My stare has been out into the expansiveness of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a long drink for my eyes to soak up. The ebb and flow of ocean waves crashing upon one another serenades my soul like the loveliest of lullabies. Rows of white foam line up in front of me, dancing like a child on tippy toes, and then, unable to hold the crest of the arch, crash in an extension across the surface. The white bubbles disappear, melting into the blue grey waters as they churning up deep beige sand to create mixing bowl of elements hugging themselves around my ankles. It feels like I am a kid again; it feels like an embrace from above.
Like anyone else I’ve always been drawn to the ocean, but each time I find myself around it I search for new ways to describe the beauty that engulfs my soul. It is a challenge to put words to the peace that comes from the rhythmic and unpredictable pattern of waves, and every time I attempt to do so I learn more about how God sings to us through the mighty wonder of nature and I am drawn in all the more.
Wave after wave, the ocean births beauty; it is a momentary and fleeting splendor saved for that one wave. The crest of the waves vary, often as a result of the churning waters or turbulence of winds, much like the rise of beauty in our own lives. Beauty has no scarcity because it is in a continual state of renewal. Beauty has no competition because everything has its own unique and is not replicable, just like each wave has beauty, no one wave more beautiful than the other, and together all creating a greater expansiveness of beauty by the contribution of their existence. As I look out into the expanse of waters, a filter sets in over my eyes and the world seems to slow down. The air tastes different and the thoughts in my mind feel fuller. My heart flows with streams of peace and inspiration and all at the same time I feel like running a marathon and like never moving from this spot on the sand ever again. It is a wondrous storm of beautifulness, promise and renewal, for I know, as I watch each wave crash, that the beauty will go on and on.
The lesson I have learned this week? Practice your stare because, used correctly, it can transform your connection with the world of beauty that surrounds you. Slow down, stare out and soak it up.
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