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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sea Sanctuary

I’m with my old friend, the sea…just the waves, a few sailboats, occasional shorebirds, scattered shells, polished stones and shifting sand.

The sea, my sanctuary, place of worship and salvation… soothing, grounding, sacred, peaceful, a place to be alone and protected where I can shut out the distractions of the world and my mind and become whole, balanced and connected—my soul’s home.

Here I am free of worry, stress, responsibility and uncertainty, safe from a world of money, relationships, deadlines, and demands, uncluttered and unfettered. Basic shelter from life’s storms and disappointments with powerful forces that mirror my unconscious, shifting, mysterious, creative, unknown.

I am awed by the sea’s strength and endurance, its unceasing change: beauty in the bright sun, dusk and blackness—reassuring, lasting, and transforming like life itself.

Its shoreline provides an ever changing altar of glass chards, sparkling in the sun like tiny stain glass windows, hallowed ground for fish sacs, driftwood and seaweed.

The sandy tableau displays the sea’s random creativity and many moods reflected in the sun’s mirror complemented by the sky’s designer backdrop, brilliant in crimson at sunset and stunning in black velvet with shimmering stars at night.

The sea is my sanctuary, life affirming, reliable and unpredictable, free to be itself, stormy or placid—no limitations, no should’s or have to’s, no one to answer to—a universal constant that transcends love, war, politics, career and family. It only answers to itself.

The sea manifests its deity without icons, saints, incense, catechism and hymns, and I come to worship as a parishioner who speaks and prays for strength, wisdom and direction.

This is the place where I become centered, renewed and readied to be part of the world again, a spa for all of my senses where I can reconnect all my parts and return revitalized to life itself.

Copyright © Erana Leiken, 2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sea Photo by Jack Oceano
Shell Photo by Karunakar Rayker


  1. Hi Erana,

    Your story makes me a little homesick for the sandy beaches I jogged during sunset. It's a pleasant memory which has motivated me to plan my vacation.

    Thank you!

  2. Yes, wrote this after many walks on the beach.

  3. Erana,
    I shared this my significant other, who is from Rhode Island -- he says he can relate.

  4. Ahhh Erana you have captured my sanctuary perfectly. Once a year I get to return 'home.' Thank you for gifting me an extra trip this year. I shall come back and meet my old friend here again. Wonderful.