This past spring, back in March, I went to a beach for the "first" time. I've seen a beach as a teenager with my mom and even when I went to Canada back in 2006, but both times were kind of "drive bys". I didn't touch the water and I didn't really walk the beach. In March, I went to a conference in Northridge,California and it was very close to LA. The group I was with decided to go to the beach the last day. I had never seen such a beautiful site. The ocean, mountains, and palm trees all in one place! It's something I will never forget and one of those experiences that made me feel so small in comparison. Not in a diminishing way, but in the scheme of it all, the moment I looked across that beach, I thought about how far away from home I was, how beautiful the and diverse the earth is and how beautiful and powerful water is. I saw the waves rush and I began to pray to the Yoruba Goddess of the Ocean Yemoja. Yemoja is the water in the ocean and the water in the amniotic fluid in the womb. She is powerful mother spirit and protector. I was so excited to be near the ocean and finally have the opportunity to touch the water. I watched the waves come up and go back and decided to stay as far back as I could to catch the waves when they'd come up the farthest. I waited and waited and finally decided I must be standing too far back. As soon as I walked up a couple of steps, the water rushed up on the shore and almost knocked me over! I had to run and jump to get away and I was soaked to my underwear! I knew this was gonna happen because I wasn't being patient. I thanked Yemoja for gracing me with her presence and walked the board walk until I dried off.
So many traditions speak of the cleansing power of water and the use of water in spiritual rituals such as baptism, blessing spaces, and altars. I have always been kin to water like lakes and rivers from back home in Dallas and in NC and have since grown in my desire to be near it and experience the beauty, fluidity, change, and cooling presence of water.
Here is an activity I do to humble myself and reverence the divinity of creation: I go near a river, pond, or lake and look for life inside the water. Whatever I find, I watch, and I meditate on all the ways that it needs that water to survive and how it uses the space to live, eat, work, and reproduce. You would be amazed at some of the creatures I end up watching and thinking about. This is one of the simplest yet most calming and humbling practices I have because often times I forget the beauty of life all around me. There is life happening, beings moving and maneuvering the earth all the time. This normally causes me to journal and at times I go with the intention to journal and be with myself. Feeling grounded and one of the MANY creatures that roams the earth keeps me grounded. I work to stay grounded because with the healing work that I do and the way I think, I often am "spacey" and somewhere else. This activity, truly brings me "down to earth".
Do you have a similar practice? Do you feel connected to a lake or stream in your community? Do you meditate outside or near water? Do you plan to do this practice or some variation of it? Share your personal nature based practice below so that others can gain from it as well. Share how it feels to connect to the earth. Share your thoughts on the forces in nature or just think on this and move on. Either way, I wish you blessings and light on your journey!
Join me for Day 5 tomorrow for another spiritual practice based on the theme Silence. ♥ Coach Meicka