I returned to Oregon, after more years absence than I like to admit. I never really thought I would make my home there again. I have found many parts of the country that suit me—basically, wherever I am, I am home. A time of restlessness and change had begun to overtake me one summer in Denver. I was driving in the mountains. As I rounded a particular curve in the foothills above the city I looked out, and for a moment it seemed as if I had caught that first glance of the sea that one looks for when driving to the coast from inland areas. I could not believe it! I saw the deep blues of the ocean, the broad straight line of the horizon where the seas fall off into space. “I’m going home," I found myself saying. "Going home to a place I haven’t been before," as John Denver sang about Starwood in Aspen. The seed was planted and I began to think about going home to the sea.
Though I was born in Oregon, I had not lived on the coast before. I had taken advantage of every opportunity through the years to visit there when on business trips. Somehow, there is a lure of the ocean—which I am sure most everyone who has chosen to live there feels. For me, it is a sense of transcendent power and strength. I feel a closer contact with the eternal Spirit of Life as I listen to the waves or hear the wind through the pines. I feel it most, perhaps, at the height of the storms.
I had arrived there right after one of the early December storms. I have a healthy respect for the sea, its power and relentless surges and its careless attitude for those who underestimate that power. Yet, at the same time it brings out recklessness in me. During one storm where the winds hit 100 miles per hour at Cape Foulweather, I sat in my car at the lighthouse road, letting the car blow with the torrents of wind and water. It was later I realized how easily I could have been picked up in my small foreign car and dashed to the sea floor below. Somehow, my blend of respect and recklessness regarding the sea stirs my blood as well as my mind. I find my thoughts racing and my body animated in an effort to keep up. I could sit, and have, for hours never repeating a thought or an inner image brought to me from the sea.
There are lessons in the sea, lessons as boundless as the sea itself. You cannot talk to an old salt without his telling at least a dozen of the stories lesson-laden, lessons of close calls, of crashing silence and silent crashing of waters against hulls and shores and schools of fish and . . One of the lessons for me concerns the mix of the changing and changelessness of the sea, a lesson of transformation. On a given winter day one will see boundless fortresses, log jams impenetrable by even the mightiest will. Upon awakening the next morning the shape of the shore has changed. That which seemed immovable is gone completely! Tons of wood and sand and debris, were totally shifted as to make unrecognizable the shores of yesterday.
How often have we seen in our lives those log jams of impossibility? How often have we awakened to see the shores of our lives wiped clean of yesterday’s debris? Perhaps you will say, “Not as often as I would like!” Yet it has occurred. Seemingly impossible changes can occur for any of us.It is somehow as we surrender to sleep that the nightwatchers of our dreams bring about change, that we are given that refreshment of Spirit which urges us toward our personal transformation. The sea does not calculate its action. Yet it is a calculable action. We who stand on the shore know precisely when the highest wave of the incoming tide will strike the sands, or so it seems when you consider the magnitude of such a calculation now made ordinary by years of doing. The sea works its wonders night and day, transforming shores the world around. The shores and the waves are ever the same, yet always different. Too often we get stuck in one view of our lives. We forget that which seems changeless is in fact constantly changing. We are transformed as much by time as by conscious effort. We need only allow ourselves that time, free of the block of limited beliefs, along with a little effort, in order to begin to see the shifting of our lifesands; to see the transformation from log jam limitations to clear shores upon which to build our sandcastle fantasies. These are made even more real by our beliefs in self and the Infinite All standing in and through and as it all.
You can transform your life today! Take heart and see the lessons of the sea. The changeless is changed, the rough made smooth, the troubled waters calmed. No matter what the nature of your particular challenge, it stands ready for change. New relationships or new feelings about your current relationships are possible. New, vital life in place of the worn out tissues and cells, which have served their purpose, is possible. Productivity, new growth—all is available to those who believe in their oneness with the sense of the sea, the power of the universe. It may seem at times as though we are in the midst of outrageous storms of difficulty. Remember, the changed sands of tomorrow offer new possibilities for your life. These changes come about by changes in the way we think and feel about life, by developing new attitudes of faith and courage. As surely as the sands of the shore are shifted by the power of the sea, so will your life be changed by the power you tap within yourself.
This is no simple religious profession. You do not even need to be religious to bring about change in your life. Little is required other than the desire to give yourself the opportunity. There is power within you as yet untapped. It can rise like the tide upon the shores of your life and bring about change. Give yourself to the nightwatchers of your dreams where possibilities may first be seen. Give yourself to life, and thus give yourself Life!