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  • Writer's pictureThalien Colenbrander

THE OCEAN - everything that has a beginning has an ending

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

For some unfathomable reason the water doesn’t seem to flow in any particular direction, it’s not rushing on lineally, the way rivers and waterfalls do. Seeking to understand the bizarre sight that had befallen me, I compare it to the way water behaves in a pond or puddle. It ripples and spreads itself onto land when there's a bit of wind, only to quickly recoil and regather again. Water is cohesive, I reason to myself, it wants to stay together. Like a fat raindrop resting on a leaf.

But here some anarchic force within the water seems at play. Driving the water towards the sand, where it curls up frantically, the highest points colouring white and frothy. Then the formation simply smashes itself apart on the sand with a thunderous sound, only to be sucked back into the body of water, taking sand and little stones with it. As if in the water lives a thirsty beast, only able to quell its own insatiable desire with each reel-back of the same water it so resolutely ejected only moments before.

Contrary to the turbulent outskirts of this mammoth of a pond, far in the distance it looks perfectly still. The sun shimmering peacefully on the surface. As though a comet-sized diamond has been smashed to tiny pieces to form a veil that was then draped across the surface of the water. The veil sparkles on far into the distance, where it then stops abruptly in an uncanny straight line, yielding to the vastness of the sky. Or is the sky yielding to the water? I can’t tell. With my finger, I point to the place to my far left where I see the water touching the sand. And then I trace my finger across the water-sky frontier, all the way to my right. The line I draw is as smooth as a blade of helm grass in the dunes behind me, and slightly rounded.

I’ve been spending the past few days on the Portuguese coast, close to Cabo da Roca. It’s the cape which forms the westernmost point of mainland Portugal, and of continental Europe. Where the Eurasian landmass gives way to the majestic Atlantic Ocean. This idea in and of itself fills me with awe. It’s October, a time of transition. The weather is erratic and every time I look at the ocean it strikes me as different. My favourite guise is when it's depressingly overcast with the sun popping out sporadically, setting the ocean ablaze in a silver spectacle of glitz and glamour.

Gazing at this wonder, I ponder what it would be like to see the ocean for the very first time. I imagine myself having seen nothing but inland landscapes all my life, never even heard of the existence of such a thing as an ocean or sea. And then suddenly being subjected to the sight of it. If you’re reading this, you, like me, will never be that person. But we can imagine. And with that imagination comes awe and wonder and freshness, helping us to zoom out of the messiness that this little human existence can be and connecting with the bigger picture.

Today is a grey day, outside and inside. Imagining that vast body of water with fresh eyes and writing about it, was a bit like casting a light inward and allowing my inner landscape to shimmer. The good waves, the bad waves and all the waves in between. Might be a bit of a dramatic shimmer today, but that's fine too. In the meantime, all is well. Not quite equanimous, but I see hope on the horizon. That's something.

"Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well“ - Jack Kornfield

What have you been doing/thinking/saying lately to help you cultivate equanimity, in other words, an inner state of all-is-well-ness? Leave a comment below!

To read my blog on equanimity, click here.

Love, Thalien xx

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