Promises from the Sea

The roar of the rip current catches me by surprise; I lose my breath. 

The foamy sea surrounds me, threatening to devour once again. I brace for impact. My limp body is still recovering from the last beating. The drowning sensation, now so familiar to my lungs, creeps in. I’m a rag doll, helpless as the walls close in.

I look up, searching for the light; it’s dark from beneath he waves. My eyes find a sliver of the sun; a faint glow, it is miles away from where I tread. It lures me, begging me to resurface on my own. I have no power here. 

I close my eyes, hard, forcing out the tiny sliver of light, surrendering to the world around me. My mind drifts, wondering why I so foolishly left the shore. I dream myself back there, on the warm sand. The shore is stable, predictable even. It promises neither life nor death, but safety.  

The deep roars; its song is alluring. It yearns and longs to consume my soul. It promises danger and demands sacrifice. Obeying its call, I go.

I go because the shore scares me more than the beckoning waves. I bury my feet in the water because the assurance of safety is the loss of life. So I walk, my legs disappearing in the dark waters. I walk until I’m shoulder deep, my skin tingling at the rush of the sea. I take a deep breath in, refusing to look back at the shore, and submerge my body. It’s a cleansing of sorts, a baptism in the sea. 

I feel everything at once—pain, fear, hope, joy. I’m naked all over, my bones exposed. My eyes open wide; I’m awake from the eternal slumber. 

She welcomes me, the sea. She invites me to be known and promises to take me on a journey to find my soul. 

It will be brutal, she warns. The rip current strips anyone who dares to venture into the deep. Exposure is the only way. 

But she also promises transformation. With every painful blow, new life transpires. Layers fall, revealing my soul. I’m finally home, brilliantly submerged in the deep.

Holy is here, in the deep. Security and comfort are nowhere to be found, but I'm not bothered. I feel the rip current coming, and beyond that, the sun awaits. I think I will swim farther.