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Ocean Medicine in a Time of Crisis

Updated: Mar 25


I took a walk the other day down to my local beach where the scent of the sea always tends to lift my spirits no matter what's going on with me. On this particular afternoon, there was a strong onshore breeze, and as I arrived at the ocean’s edge, I was blanketed by a misty air, rich with that salty smell. While this may not be for everyone, for me that smell is like medicine. As I breathed the air into my lungs, it felt like every cell in my body was being restored and my spirit awakened. I felt so grateful in that moment for this experience and for the medicine the ocean provides. As I looked around at the many people walking and riding bikes along the ocean side (while also observing social distancing), I realized I wasn’t the only one seeking the ocean’s medicine. Like so many of us, I have been feeling strung out lately by the fear that grips us in the face of uncertainty and concern related to this pandemic.

As I stopped by the side of the road, I let me eyes rest upon the expansive horizon leading into the vast North Atlantic. My mind became silent, and my body relaxed as I felt the awe and wonder inspired by this view. I heard it said once that our rational mind can never fully comprehend the mystery and immensity of nature, so it simply stops, and in that silence, we find peace.

We go to the ocean and to the wilderness of any kind because we desperately need it. John Muir, when he wrote in 1901 about the need for preserving wild places, said it beautifully:

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find that going to the mountains is going home; the wildness is a necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

During this time of slowing down, I am reminded of how mother ocean and her energy is indeed a fountain of life for so many and a great healer, and so I’ve decided to write about it.

As I continue to put pen to paper, I invite you to join me as I share a series of musings over the coming weeks on what I call Ocean Medicine. I would love to hear your feedback and perhaps your own stories as you follow along.

For now, I invite you to go down to the sea if you can and let its energy wash over you. If you can’t go to the sea, just go out into nature – she is there waiting for you. She’ll remind you that there is a deeper rhythm to life that supports us through whatever is happening in our lives.

I find this reminder a great blessing.

Until next time!

See you on the water,

James


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