It’s been a 11 months since I ventured into the ocean, to brave the waves and re-familiarise myself with the art of surfing. This elegant dance with natures watery abyss was first discovered by Captain James Cook as he witnessed the indigenous Hawaiian's, facing the challenge of ocean swells with fearless abandon.
The great water bodies of our world are still relatively an unknown quantity, with 85% of their marine life still hiding treasures of undiscovered mystery. Around 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans which nurture a diverse collection of plankton organisms which release oxygen into the water ultimately feeding the planet with over 50% of its oxygen quota. Not only does the Oceans breath feed the eco-systems of the world, it knows exactly what each geographical location needs in order to sustain life in all of its diversity.
The ancients believed that ocean waves were a metaphor for life's challenges, the ferocity of their power likened to an overbearing force that bears down on our lives without notice or warning. Their unpredictable seas scape seems unfathomable and foreboding yet so enigmatically inviting, likened to those who accepted the formal request of discovery and to sail the high seas searching for new lands and cultures. My respect for the oceans unlimited power is an invitation to trust in a God of the deep who helps me face my fears of the unknown.
It is ironic that the human adult body is 60% water, our brain, heart and lungs all fed and sustained by this ubiquitous presence, a metaphorical reminder that we are deeply connected to Mother Nature. Coincidentally the sea is the place I go to calm my demons, confident that the Maritime Deities will conspire on my behalf, while up above in the stratosphere the planets reach down to work in symbiotic unison with the primordial waters like angelic messengers who orbit our lives, a reminder that we are somehow held in the grip of other worldly forces.
Every indigenous culture supports the myth of Water Gods who are guardians of its rich life flow, feeding the landscape with the necessary sustenance it requires. Like a loving mother they nurture the balance of life with tidal precision.
‘The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, it hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t’ — Christopher Paolini
The ebb and flow of my tidal ‘ups and downs’ are a reminder that I am a part of the natural order of things, not somehow cursed or overly endowed with misfortune like some would suggest. Just like the ocean can remind me of the turbulent and tumultuous aspects of life it can also remind me of the serene calmness of natures beauty, an invitation to come walk beside, watch in awe, or jump in and be refreshed by its liquid love.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics. Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn't it clear that they all know and agree that GOD is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hands. -The book of Job