The Secret Beach

Tucked away in a secluded cove is a little patch of sandy strip I call my Secret Beach. I come here to sit a while.

This is where I release all agitation and pry away the heavy crust of voices, thoughts and plans into the flying winds and the open sea. This is where I come to rest my soul.

I never tire of this spot. I sit on the same flat rock some days burnt hot under the steady summer sun. Some days, wet and slippery from the waves that spray at high tide.

This little hideout of mine is about a 20 minute walk from my home through a twisty rocky shoreline. It is a route I take often with the open sea to my right and a grassy knoll on my left. The trail is hard and knobbly from the many tree roots that snake and sprawl across the sandy path. I pause often along the way on the gentle slopes of this narrow trail just to take in the view.

Climbing up over a hillock to the Secret Beach, I almost never know what to expect each time I make it to the other side. Sometimes when the tide is low, this hidden beach reveals calm rock pools with swaying sea-weed. I sit on my favourite slab of rock and peer at the small brown fishes darting in the clear shallow waters just below my feet. There is hardly a ripple on the sea which occasionally heaves gently and gurgles soothingly.

Sometimes I come and I gasp to see my little beach usually so neat and trim littered with bushels of dark brown curls of seaweed churned up from the bowels of the ocean. My little hideout has weathered another stormy night of lashing rains and gales. Swelling tides and the sea, grey and agitated pound against the rocks with an unrecognisable force. I hug myself as I stand against the wind and see the magnificent ocean stirred by the hands of power and might.

The ancient spruces gnarled and twisted creak in the whipping winds. A few brave sea gulls scream in defiance at the thunderous sky and attempt a few feeble flaps. Some brown ducks cower on the rocks for the storm to blow over. But storms never last forever. And soon mild days of gentle calm and steady, lapping waves visit this little cove again.

Some days I am not alone as little curious visitors come by to pay me a visit and to look inquiringly if I had brought a little treat for them. They poke about near the rock pools dredging up strands of seaweed. Some bobbing under for a quick peck.

Under God’s heavens I sit all alone. A pin prick in the Universe. A single drop in the ocean. And yet it is at such moments when I am acutely aware of how small I am in all the worlds of God, that I am infused with a loveliness of all that is life. And in such moments of utter insignificance I am made aware that He who made me is closer to me than I am to myself.

I am never the same person when I leave my Secret Beach.

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know that I

Be still and know that

Be still and know

Be still and

Be still

Be.

~ Psalm 46:10 (A prayer form by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his book Made for Goodness)

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