For as long as I can remember, I have felt an irresistible draw to water. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I spent my childhood either in hill towns or in close proximity to them. All our vacations (and there were many!) would also be to hill stations so I guess seeds of the allure that I feel towards the azure depths was sown there.
I love the ocean. I love the sound of the waves gently lapping at the shores. I love sitting on the shores and watching the sun setting over the horizon. I love the way the myriad colors of the sun dance on the waves in a natural kaleidoscopic pattern. I love the lulling tones of music that the waves play which kindles in me a deep longing for more.
But what I love most is beach-combing. I love watching the tides bring in new bounty from the sea and I love how each ebbing tide always leaves behind a rich harvest of treasure in the form of sea shells and coral. I just love wandering bare foot on the soft sand hunting for treasures that the sea has given. I love the feeling of the damp sand on my fingers as I dig into the moist depths to pull out a piece partially hidden coral or a small seashell. Indeed there is something about a tranquil beach strewn with beautiful seashells that tugs at the chords of my heart.
I believe there is something deeply therapeutic about beach-combing. Seashells have a deep connection with religion and mythology as well (more specifically the conch shell). In Buddhism, the shell represents an individual’s awakening from ignorance and is symbolic of victory. In Hinduism, the shell is a part of religious rituals. It is blown during the ritualistic prayer and in wars. In Chinese Buddhism, the conch shell signifies prosperity and journey of an individual. In Islam, the conch shell represents the hearing of the divine word.
Shells be it conch, cowry or any other are basically homes of the tiny organisms that inhabit them (so, if you ever find a shell that has a tiny creature in it, be sure to throw it back in the water). The different varieties of shells that we find on the seashores are in fact home to tiny little crabs and mollusks that get washed ashore with the movement of the tide. In a more spiritual sense, you could say that they are actually messengers of the ocean and wash ashore with the missives of the sea for they bring with them the ability to calm & soothe our mind.
So, have you ever wandered on a beach, just looking at the serene water? Ever walked on the soft sand leaving behind a trail of footprints that disappear with the gentle lapping of the waves? Have you ever felt drawn irresistibly to the many shells that litter the beaches? If not then try it once. Surrender yourself to the natural sounds of the sea as you walk barefoot on the sand. I promise you that it is an activity that enhances not only your inner tranquility but also elevates your level of calmness.
Image – Razvan Narcis Ticu via unsplash