Of all of the wonderful beaches here on O'ahu, this one is my favorite. There is no parking lot, no store nearby, no bathroom...at most I've seen 5 people here and they are typically throwing fishing nets into the ocean. This beach is not a tourist stop. I've laid next to monk seals, both of us basking in the solace of unknown territory. I've played my guitar while singing loudly, and there was no one to tell me not to.
It is the single most spiritual place I have encountered in my lifetime.
In short, it is HERE that I come into a place of complete abandonment. I abandon any notions of what should be done today, any thoughts of responsibility towards anything but my connection to the land. I abandon time, worry, doubt, and fear. Gone are the ties that bind.
The ocean has blessed me with some amazing gifts at this beach. It was here, during one of my beach clean-up sessions that I found my large cowrie that I strung and now wear around my neck. I am careful not to take shells that are not given. My cowrie was buried in the sand, its resident long since vacated, and was waiting for me next to a piece of trash.
This place is so special to me that I hesitate sharing it...but here goes...
Here I am at the beach today. I don't come here to swim (this is not a swimming beach...rocks) or tan on a bright towel. I come here to think, to give back to the ocean by cleaning the beach, and to connect back to who I am and why I am here.
Today I explored the tide pools before combing for trash. LIFE! The water was crashing, the guppies were swimming, the crabs were clicking and crawling.
While exploring the tide pools in the morning sun, I heard the words of Rachel Carson from her book "The Edge of the Sea" in my head. "A rocky coast, even though it is swept by surf, allows life to exist openly through adaptations for clinging to the firm surfaces provided by the rocks and by other structural provisions for dissipating the force of the waves." Okay, so I didn't have ALL of that in my head, but I could only imagine what it would be like to have her there with me, exploring and discussing the patterns existing in front of our eyes. She was amazing.
This is my favorite picture of the day. Check out all the action...the breaking wave in the background, the rolling water over the rocks, the reflection in the tide pool, the sun shining on everything...I just LOVE IT
This little guy found a great home...complete with a window! I could only hope for a home as beautiful...maybe one day...
These are the lichens (I think?) that were visible because the tide was super low. I've seen them before, but for some reason today, they begged to be photographed. Just beautiful. Their spirals remind me of the perfect spiral existent in a cone shell.
Here's a seaweed that was growing next to the lichen. I was stoked that my camera took such a clear picture!
A beautiful lichen fan...
The perfection of nature's design.
This is the only shell I found today. It was the top of a cone shell that had been quite weathered. I left it there, as I did not feel like it was mine to take today.
This, my friends, is a sea cucumber. Upon close observation, it was breathing, moving, expanding and contracting...awesome...
I felt like it was saying to me, "Okay. You've slowed down...now, follow me: Breathe, expand, contract...that's it...it's just that simple." Thank you, sea cucumber. My anxious tendencies needed that.
My tradition upon leaving this wonderful sanctuary is to practice a simple meditation. It goes like this: Close your eyes and, one at a time, go through your senses. Be aware of what you hear. Be aware of what you smell. Be aware of what you feel (physically feel, not emotionally...this one is really hard). Be aware of what you taste. Then open your eyes. What you see will be more vibrant and meaningful.
My day ended with a perfect pineapple....why don't I eat pineapple more often!? It tasted incredible.
"And so in that enchanted place on the threshold of the sea the realities that possessed my mind were far from those of the land world I had left an hour before."
- Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea