Salty Therapy And Lessons From The Sea

Spencer Dolphin Watching

It is the end of the day and we are explorers launching our boat, ready and expectant. We leave the hot air of the land for the cooler temperatures of the salty mist that hovers over the water.  We are small, a dot on a spinning orb, looking for a surprise. We are looking for wonder and beauty.

We leave  our lives on shore and transport our hungry souls out into the swirl of blues, greens, and grays. We are hoping for a glimpse of  anything or  of we don’t know what. But somehow we  are certain of where to go for discovery, solace and peace. At least two of us are in need  of a re-booting. Life is heavy. This is the place of floating and watching. Life is lighter out here.

And  light and lightness filter in and through our souls. Our pores are open, accepting all the sea gives. The sea has a way of prying  open a heart hardened by a day. We are  more buoyant when we are on board our little boat. Floating out as searchers, collectors.

A sailboat passes us on our way out. They are on their way in, an extraordinarily handsome sailboat from Canada. We release more of the day’s toxins into the cool sea air. We can breath. And we do. Our journey begins while theirs ends. The harbor is their resting place and the waterway becomes ours.

And I wonder if I could teach my child  what she needs to know of life, drawing lessons only from what we find in the salty sea. Moments into our voyage, we come upon a  shrimp boat returning with their catch.  Gulls  and dolphin gather around them attracted by  the unwanted parts of their catch being thrown overboard. A cycle of life. A recycling of nutrients. It is a study in economics, in hard work, ecology, business, and stewardship of natural resources.

But I find that all I can really focus on, honestly is the wonder, the endless masterpiece of seemless salt, sky and sea. Th rich tapestry, assulting each of my senses. The treasures are palpable.

We would not be here so quickly at the end of day without our motor, but it is time now to turn it off and listen. And to float. White foam tells a story. We hear and see the beginning forming as the frenzied  dolphin force the baitfish onto the shore for dinner. We watch a stunning display of a mammal’s hunting and gathering skills.

There is a connectedness, a synchronicity on the water. The gulls in the air, follow the dolphin and the fish they prey on joining the banquet table of blues and greens. We are turning around, three hundred and sixty degrees viewing this extraordinary aquatic life. I  am awash in pleasure except for the  occasional sting of  a horse fly. There is the reminder of pain on board, an unwelcomed passenger biting our flesh. What a small sacrifice to pay to hear the dolphin blow through their holes with audible  force and might. To witness their play, their mating, their dining. Their very lives heal our weary worn out souls. Tired from fighting the battles on the land.

And we spin around as the waves rock us under the bright night sun. It is relentless in its slow set. And we determine we cannot wait for it to go down. We must return to the toxic heat and pressures of the land, and to our dinner. Our own evening ritual of dinner and conversation draws us back to land. And we bring our appetites, increased by the sea air which stirs a  hunger in our bellies.

There would be math lessons or physics lessons if I were to extrapolate the lessons from the sea. If beauty were not beckoning me to focus on asthetics, tending to ignore science and numbers and concrete factoids for a child to store away. Approaching the dock is timing and speed and distance and I know there must be some physics involved. The wind blows the boat and the man infront of us misses his mark over and over as he tries to fight the current and wind and the elements. His problem solving, patience and determination would be a life-lesson chapter, if I were using the sea as a classroom.

But I am  distracted by a study in the hectic lives of  the Purple Martins.  Of  their colony of dozens dining on mosquitoes and swarming around as they pitch and dive, feeding before they enter their gords.

We are almost home, restored, awash in salt and seawater.  And new memories gathered up in a short trip out to the floating classroom.

Beauty teaches, salty therapy restores and we have taken sweet lessons from the sea. 

All we needed for today, the sea has lovingly offered up to us. And we are grateful explorers returning safely from our aquatic expedition.

Bend, Bow, and Bare “Letters From The Village” – Day 3

Day Three in the series “Letters From The Village” in which I pen a poem of praise, writing as if in letter form to the bending bowing limbed beauties. The wood from which the cross was cut and hewn.oak park tree my fave

trees in oak park


trees skyward

Bend, Bow and Bare

You teach us well the lessons
How to bend and bow
To stand and lift, turn toward the sacred
Stretched skyward in tall praise.

You show us well the lessons
Of how to bare a soul, strip down to  simple naked frame
Stand stark, vulnerable, 
No covering to hide the shame or blight

You live well this life of shedding, pruning back
Of cutting back dead wood, this vital piece, the
Part that leads to vibrant verdant growing, new life
I watch you walk through seasons dignified, majestic, stark to full

Simple beauty,

I stare, eyes fixed in silent solemn  awe,

I gaze on your reverential stance displayed in vertical repose

Dear Ones who show us how to bend and sway rooted deep in soil of life
You lift up strong, your limbs in praise
And bear your radiant fruit in due time
You who holy held the son of God on wood hewn cross He bled

the sins of all were carried on His back while nailed, obedient, to you.

The pain, the nails

The perfect sacrifice.

And so we bow

and bend lower, lower still

lower day by day inside the shadow that you cast for us, recall His holy sacrifice

The bark, stump, root, limb, leaf, bud and branch

Metaphor for us,

We the people of the cross.

We bend, we bow

We break, we bare,

We look to wooden ways, the forest and the trees.

amen ,no alleluia’s at this time, stark worship on these days


The stump, the root, the cross, a final sacrifice received

Bent humbly, praising God

You teach well these lessons

Of both the  forest and the trees.

big bent tree sepiatrees, moss, bluetree cowpraying praising tree