In honour of World Oceans Day, I share a piece that I wrote while still pregnant with Chayton. I pray that it moves you to celebrate all that is sacred within the world.
Today I can feel you as you explore your surroundings. Your dance has gotten more graceful over the past few weeks. I can feel and see you as your stretch about, pushing back the limits of my womb, ready to make your escape, preparing to make your presence known.
But wait, sweet baby. It’s not time yet and everything in life has a perfect time. Enjoy your cozy room, sweet baby, for the months ahead hold great changes for you and one day you may miss the warmth of Mama’s belly, where you were wrapped up cozy and safe.
Don’t fear, sweet baby. The world is terrifying, yes, but terrifyingly beautiful as well. Your daddy will teach you of the mountains and how to live within the forest. But I, sweet child, will teach you a love of the ocean.
We will wiggle our toes into the salty depths of the sea, sweet child. Feel its cool embrace surround as we play within its shores and immerse ourselves into its mysteries. Gather the sand into our cushioned palms and awe at the colours of the starfish. The waves will dance around you like your friends but never forget that within their playful grasp is a power that can undo and unnerve you.
Yet this is the thing that I love most about the ocean, the feeling of being so small next to something so mighty and powerful.
The ocean will teach you to breathe deep and be calm.
The ocean will teach you the reflection of the pink sunset over the beauty of the waves.
The ocean will teach you that there is always more than meets the eye, as it teems with life beneath of water’s surface.
The ocean will teach you the power of family bonds, as orcas, belugas and dolphins share a unity with their kin that is suffered when lost.
The ocean will teach you the importance of responsibly managing our effects on this shared world. It will feed you, sustain you and has the ability to destroy you if you do not care for it.
There is so much wonder and beauty in this world, sweet child, and as your parents, we are eager to share the bounty of our great lands and the majesty of this spectacular world with your innocent heart. If you care for these lands and oceans, they will care for you always. Their wisdom and abundance cannot be owned; it can only be treasured, experienced, protected, explored and ultimately, shared. We will teach you, sweet baby, for this earth is as much yours as it is ours. It is as much ours as it belongs to the deers, or the owls, or the salmon, or the orcas… or the falcon, of which you share a namesake.
Yet as powerful as the ocean is and as glorious its depths, the waters cannot compare to the majesty and sovereignty of the Creator, our God. You, fresh from His presence, will know of his mysteries greater than I and you will teach me an enormous magnitude of the character of our King. He lives and moves within us as we sustain our being within the lion heart of His splendour. As the earth cannot exist without the nourishment of water, so our souls cannot live with the touch if His divine. He is our beginning and our end; the universe was set into motion through the first words from His lips and both our worlds were called forth when He called you, my sweet son, into being. With your birth, I too will be reborn…into motherhood and into a deeper understanding of the sacred holiness with exists within us all. This holiness, which comes only from our Lord, when His divinity collides with our mortality and takes us to higher heights and gives purpose to our being.
There will be days when the darkness of your humanity will overtake you and even your best intentions will fail you. Yet this is the paradox of being human; we live in the tension between the holiness of God and the depravity of our sin. Yet no matter how far you fall, you will always find yourself caught by the redeeming power of grace. The depths of the ocean or the heights of the skies cannot outrun the grace of our God. So fear no fear, my son; though there will come a day when I can no longer stand beside you in the flesh, grace will never leave your side or forsake your soul.
As sure as the sun will rise and set above the waters of the ocean, be confident that you were born for this moment in time, this space in eternity. Let God rise like water to your soul, for you will always be sustained in Him. Turn your ear and soften your heart, care for the earth and those who inhabit it— embrace the holy all around you.
The earth is glorious, sweet baby. Soar like the eagles above the oceans waves, dear child, because like the ocean your life is not meant to exist in the shallow places where fear and trembling live, but to embrace the majesty, power, and holiness of the deep…the places beyond ourselves, where God reigns.