This I Believe

Courtney - Folly Beach, South Carolina
Entered on February 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature
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I believe in the healing powers of the ocean. It has changed my outlook on life, my goals and my lifestyle. Every morning around 10 a.m., I push my comforter off my bed and walk to the beach, barefoot. I feel the sensations of grass and sand between my toes. As I look at the ocean, whether the waves are coming in, in five-foot barreling sets, or not coming in at all, I appreciate its beauty. The vastness of earth that will never be developed leaves me with a sense of purity and gratefulness in a society of diminishing simplicity. No matter how far I travel into the Atlantic, the horizon is a sheet of untouched sapphire. The ocean moves in rhythmic waves that could not be emulated by the most graceful dancer.

I’ve come to love and respect the ocean as if it were my own. Every moment I spend with it is a moment well spent. I pick up cigarette butts that poke into the sand as though it was my grandfather’s ash tray. I gather beer cans left behind by my classmates, and most of all, I never forget to appreciate the ocean. The sound of waves crashing on the shore heard through my bedroom window reminds me that I’m so fortunate to be where I am. My worries drift into the miles of blue that extend through my backyard.

I haven’t felt a moment of loneliness since I met the ocean three years ago, nor have felt such a firm appreciation for life.

I believe all surfers are born with an innate appreciation for the sea. We acknowledge the ocean’s ability to create life, cause death and most all, push us along for a wave-riding experience that is stimulation for the body and mind. While sitting in the ocean on a surfboard, feet dangling in the murky Atlantic, the mind is free of worry and focused on the power and beauty of the waves.

Pushing my bare arms into 70 degree water and feeling the sun dry salt water to my face, has a healing power like I never felt in the lakes of Michigan. The ocean’s power to accelerate and float me on top of its fluid waves must be the closest feeling to a bird in flight. This ability to walk on water has hooked me for life.

In a world that moves so rapidly, forcing development and complexity, I find serenity in the ocean. Every time I spend a moment with it, I am reminded that I will always be content, because I know the ocean will never change.

I believe in the healing powers of the ocean.