Mother of Oceans

I meditate when I’m working out. The rhythmic clacking of the exercise equipment and repetitive body motion lends itself to trance work. And nobody’s going to bother me – there’s an unspoken understanding in the fitness room that it’s okay to ignore people if you want to, and as often as not there’s nobody else in there in the evening. Sometimes it’s the only quiet I get during the day.

A couple of weeks ago it seemed that I needed to do some visualization, so I got on the elliptical machine to keep my body busy while my spirit went where it needed to go:

Down a staircase carved into black stone, dimly lit, damp and heavy with the smell of cool salt air. There is light, but not much, the color between blue and green. The spirit knows where it is going. Touch the door, cold and wet and slippery as wood that has been soaking in the sea, touch the handle – cold, blue, shaped like a dolphin this time. Make the sign of passage (the soul remembers, the mind forgets) and pass through.

It is a beach at sunset, the sky above that unreal greenish blue, orange and gold ahead; the sand catching the evening light black and gold beneath my feet, black and gold and blue and green the ocean before me, surf splattering around my toes.

I step forth. “Mother of Oceans? I’m back.”

Somewhere between the shore and the horizon a great wave rises, rolling toward the shore.

‘Bout time you showed up.

I dig my toes into the cold wet sand. It’s been a long time since I walked these shores. “Yeah… About that…”

What do you want?

She’s blunt, the Mother of Oceans. Can’t put anything past Her; She knows I have come looking for a favor. We usually do.

I show Her my soul, the tender parts: where the fear lives, where the mistrust comes from, the parts that are still not healed. She knows how these things work; I don’t. “Help?”

The great wave crests, but does not fall, glowing bottle-green backlit by the sunset. Someone is chuckling at me, the sound of crashing water.

You already know.

A moment’s frustration. What She says is true but I don’t have to like it. She knows that too, and laughs again. I sigh. “Fine. Show me what You will.”

The bottle-green wave rises and falls and the sky begins to deepen. Soon it will be night.

Look closer.

In my hands there is a bowl, black, heavy with cold salt water. I look into it but there is no reflection. “What is this?”

Look closer.

A few stars appear as the great wave recedes toward the horizon under the purple and golden sky. I stand on the beach with a bowl of black water in my hands.

Look closer.


After I got done at the gym that night, I was driving home, hoping I’d find time to write (which ended up not happening). Stopped at the traffic light I heard Her chuckle again.

You left the door open.

I smiled in the dark. “That was intentional. I need You to come in.”

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