Spring is a busy time for me. We are getting our boat ready to sail, and the work spreads into and occupies all the time available. As time runs shorter other things are pushed aside. By the time we are ready to leave our winter resting place I am reminding myself that it’s all worth the time and effort.
The reward for all the work? Time spent on the water, reaching and exploring new places, seeing new things that will become part of my life and my work.
As happened with this painting.
We were in the Canaries, where volcanic rocks are rich with color, when I saw her – a young woman sitting, waiting, on a flat rock by the sea. Later I took what I had seen, and mixed in my own feelings about waiting, about being alone, about being by the sea…
We all need a place to breathe, a place where we can simply be ourselves. I breathe best by the water, or on it – in a place between the earth and the sky where the water stretches out before me, the sky arches high overhead, and the air moves freely.
Here I can think my own thoughts, dream my own dreams, contemplate and explore.
Here I feel in tune with the world. I can meditate with the sounds of water all around me, feeling the rhythm of the waves, the rhythms that give us life – and many other creatures too. I can feel the wave-beat in my body.
And I remind myself that a rock by the sea feels solid, as the earth seems solid. And yet the waves moving against it are washing that rock away. They are taking their time, doing their work patiently, whether we are there or not.
I think: we build our lives as if the foundation we have laid for them were as solid as that rock feels. Yet life itself, moving in its own rhythm, constantly changes us.
Rock slowly becomes part of the sea – and we, do we become part of the wider world around us?