At the seashore we ingest a sense of eternity—
the primeval rhythms of the sea against the shore,
the sea as the chaos from which all life came,
the depths of the sea as the mystery of whatever cannot be grasped or
the sea as the mystical power of God.
The sea-shore activates our senses and reminds us afresh of our humanity.
We marvel at the sight of the sea, which has looked the same
to countless generations who have witnessed it before us.
We hear the unrelenting pounding of the waves against the shore, booming
We touch the water, the seaweed, the driftwood, and the shells the sea brings
We smell the sea, its breeze unlike any other.
We taste its saltiness, full of flavor, full of life, of living creatures.
As our senses sharpen we become aware of the action of the sea:
a constant movement in the ebb and flow of the waves,
a surface that belies an undertow,
the movement of shells and creatures,
the movement that forces the shells to wear down and break,
the movement that causes friction, shell against shell,
the movement that smooths and polishes,
the movement that makes beautiful
even the fragments.
We, too, are worn down by the sands of time and the waves of adversity.
We have been broken by the action of circumstance.
We have become fragmented by the sea of life.
As we finger shell fragments, let us be reminded that we are precious to our Creator,
who wants to smooth and polish our rough edges, our painful places,
not to erase our scars but to heal us in a way that gives our scars a
and our lives a kind of loveliness that makes others want the healing
Let us submit ourselves to the caress of the sea,
the powerful sea of the Spirit of God,
allowing it to wash away what needs to be washed away,
allowing it to make us fresh and new,
allowing it to smooth and polish and broken fragments of our
lives and make us beautiful again.
Ann Glover O’Dell