Many people feel spiritually connected to the beach. The beach offers beautiful and dynamic scenery in a sacred place, allowing us to connect to the forbidden waters. The dynamic forces of the beach have inspired teachings in Christianity, “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19) and other religions. The beach offers a perspective on our place in the world that is both humbling and terrifying. Additionally, the beach offers a place where the two elements of land and water come together in a dramatic way. Every sense is stimulated in a new way, one with ocean waves resembling heartbeats of the earth. We are reminded of our presence in something larger– a rhythm that will remain without us. By connecting to this rhythm, we are offered with an opportunity to realign with ourselves.
California’s beaches hold a reputation of golden sands and powerful waves with an expansive sky stretching above us. September 17th I decided to reconnect with an old friend and visit the beach to watch sunset. We decided to connect with ourselves in a location that would provide us with a clear mind and decided on Malibu Beach. We picked the first beach that sparked our interest, which I believe was El Pescador State Beach. I noticed the beach was groomed of kelp racks to provide better beach access to visitors. Species like the Long-billed curlew appeared to be struggling from the missing kelp racks as kelp racks provide sanctuary for smaller infauna in the area. I feel the reputation of California beaches is to always be pristine with golden sands. However, I believe California’s beaches would be more successful without constant grooming as more species would thrive in these environments which would drive more ecotourism in the area. My friend and I came for sunset and decided on a Tarot reading to provide insight into our lives. The cards I drew all revealed growth and suggested removing old burdens. For my friend the cards revealed her inner struggle and acceptance to new ventures in life. The descending sunset served as a symbol to the end of old energies with a promise of new opportunities beyond the horizon.
The drive back on the PCH was one of celebration. I feel the beach offers a designated location to self-reflect and mentally recharge and in return is a wonderful location for self exploration that is right in our backyard! Life can be busy and I feel we often become blinded with logic and distractions, yet the beach will always ground us and humble us with our experiences that realigns us to our personal rhythms, which is what I define as spirituality.