I took a long walk on the beach today, streaching my legs into long strides, and my toes deep into soft sand. There was a lovely breeze, and most other walkers were wrapped up in warm jackets and boots, I think because of the overcast sky, rather than the actual temperature.
Walking at the waters edge I enjoyed the shallow waves rolling in across my feet, before ebbing back into the endless ocean.
The feeling of the waters restless motion was soothing and freeing, and lines of gentle waves foamed into life before breaking into bubbles across the sand. The sound of the breeze mingled indestinguishable from the swish and foam of the sea, and I was swept into the liminal space between the hard earth and the rolling sea. A space which is neither here nor there, which is in constant flux and flow, where change is the only constant…and I felt myself let go. Let go of the tightness which had somehow gathered unoticed somewhere deep within my being.
Letting go and surrendering the need to hold firmly to myself, and embracing the liberating relief that there is nothing to be done, I remembered this beautiful poem
Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.
The soft overcomes the hard;
the gentle overcomes the rigid.
Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.
Therefore the Master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.
Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is people’s greatest help.
True words seem paradoxical.
Tao Te Ching, chapter 78.