“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders.  He is bolted to the earth.  But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.”

— Jacques Cousteau

In only two more days, I will jump into my car and drive away to a place where the weight of the world has no meaning.  When I emerge at the end of my three-hour trip, I will find myself in a spot where I can enjoy being weightless for a few days.  I am going to visit my mother, the sea.  I have made lists and done the shopping, I have assembled items for packing, I have arranged for the mail to be held until my return — so many preparations, but all I really need is some sunscreen, a pair of waterproof shoes, a bag for treasures, and my longing for peace.

I will visit my dreams — the old ones and the new.  They often are set along the shoreline; and no matter how many other people might walk that same beach, the only sound I can hear is the whooshing of the waves as they caress the land.  Whoosh!  The heart of the ocean contracts and sends cool water to wash away the cares of the mainland.  Swoosh!  The water recedes and carries with it the worries of the day, sending them far away on the tide to a place where curious fish swim around them, inspect them, and then flip their tails as they dismiss such nonsense and quickly dart away.  Whoosh and swoosh, whoosh and swoosh, the waves arrive and depart in time with the rhythm of my own heart as I nestle into my spot on the Earth and rock in the womb of our mother, the sea.

Whoosh!  She washes over me and cleanses and renews.  Swoosh!  She carries away the dust and debris that has collected since our last encounter.  Whoosh!  She sends life-giving water to nourish each cell.  Swoosh!  She carries away the burdens and troubles.  I walk into her bosom and lift my feet.  Her salt water suspends me between heaven and earth.  I am weightless again, as I was in the mysterious place where I floated before I was born.  As I drift in the land where dreams meet life, I remember the truth that this is the way I truly exist — except for the heaviness of living on Earth.

My drifting done, I return to the shore.  I choose a spot to stand at rest and let the waves wash back and forth.  Before very long, I discover that my feet have grown roots.  As the waters ebb and flow, they have planted me ankle-deep in the sand.  ‘Yes,’ I think, ‘this is the secret of my eternal ocean mother.’  It is not her desire to sweep me away and lose me in the depths of her vast waters.  She only borrows me for a time, draws me close, rinses my soul and then plants me firmly once again.  I stand upright and strong until my roots have spread beneath the sand.  Only then — when I trust they are sturdy — do I uproot myself and return to the land where gravity requires that our roots can hold when the wind blows.

I take my heart in my hand and fling it as far as I can into the endless waters.  Whoosh!  A wave crashes over me and returns it to my chest.  Whoosh!  Swoosh!  Whoosh!  Swoosh!  As I turn my back to the sea, I carry her cadence in my ears, in my heart, in the sound of my roots as they move along the surface of the sand and return, renewed, to the business of life.