My earliest childhood memories center around the ocean. We lived in Jacksonville, on the naval base, and it was just a block from the beach. At four years old I marveled at the sounds, smells, and salt-water taste of this playful haven. Giant conch shells routinely beached themselves along the shoreline. As I put this ocean marvel to my ear, the sea would speak to me.
Conch shell’s rough skin protects it from the tossing and turning of life. Yet inside, smooth, beauty awaits its inhabitants. We too, like this shell, find solace with our inner thoughts. If we listen carefully, the sea will fill our minds with a calmness like no other.
Recently, poet Richard Blanco marked the historic occasion of the United States Embassy’s flag raising in Cuba by reading one of his poems. I was moved to find that politics could be poetic! Passion and speaking from the heart were deemed important in this unique realm.
He spoke of the sea and the openness it has to all borders. He spoke of putting a shell to our ears to hear the message of breathing and healing together. Blanco proved that a poem can move people’s hearts more than any politician, and for this I am thankful.
The ocean is the soul of the earth. Its tides breath in and out. It seeps into our harbors and into our hearts. We are drawn to water- it pulls us too with its tide. We go for answers. As we gather shells, we listen- the simple gesture of listening to the sea is as powerful as a tsunami. Nature holds the answers, if we’ll only stop to hear it.
So, here is my poem, and yes- it speaks from the heart. It may not influence politics in any way, but perhaps it will instill a sense of calmness in the mist of the bombardment of political turmoil.
Playfully the water tickles my toes. Sand encases my feet with each mighty breath of the earth. The sea, transparent as a gust of wind, rises and falls- a pendulum of waves.
The water surrounds me, caressing my body. Like a womb, it is accepting and comforting. I feel welcome, connected to nature’s soul.
We all need a little poetry in our lives. Give it a try- be 55 ‘and change’!