Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Yellow Swimsuit

For the past two mornings, I have watched as the rising sun front-lit (that’s a thing right? As opposed to back-lit?) the Pacific ocean at my feet. I have marveled at it and shivered with the anticipation of the sun overhead warming my back as the waves chilled my face.

For the past two evenings, I have sat, bundled within an inch of my life, and held my breath as the same sun dropped ever so slowly…but far too quickly…behind the waters edge at what is seemingly the end of the world.

My heart falls into perfect step with the sea. Always has.

My earliest memory is sitting ¬†at the end of the beach, watching my siblings farther out in the water, and preparing in my little fast mind to hold my breath at just the right moment as a new wave toppled me over onto my back. Tiny yellow swimsuit (often cast aside…little nudist!). Dark brown skin. Wet ringlets. Coughed up ocean water (sometimes my timing was off). Toes wiggled deep into the sand.

No fear.

I am part of the ocean. The ocean is part of me.

This. This is how the universe works for me. This is God at her finest. God in her most infinite, funny, and so damn beautiful self.

God sends the wave. God washes it over at the moment. God wiggles her finger and gravity pulls the wave back…up…away. God purses her lips and blows a little oxygen towards me…and I breath deep…while laughing…and blinking away the salt water. And She kisses my eyelids and soaks up a little of the water so that the blur of the sun is lessened and I can open my eyes and prepare for the next wave.

I am part of the ocean. God is in the ocean.

The ocean is part of me. God is part of me.

When I am unsure. I sit again at the waters edge. Today the chill keeps me from letting it roll me. But nothing keeps me from leaning into the gift of being part of something so large…so vast…so universal. Every breath I take is filled with the breath of She who pushes and pulls the waves. And She laughs with abandon when I am full of joy and laughter. And Her hand goes over her heart to sooth when my aches are strong and my heart feels like it won’t heal. She tilts her head, narrows her eyes, and the corners of her mouth turn up ever so slightly as she waits for me to release anger, bitterness, pain, grief. And the blessed smile of that God lights up when I am awash in grace, forgiveness, and mercy towards myself and those in my world.

Her smile is my smile.

My grief is her grief.

She is on my side and She knows…I am on Hers.

The ocean does this. The sea reminds me. The yellow swimsuit memories. They wash over me and I am covered, clean, and wholly part of it all.

The ocean is a part of me.

I am a part of the ocean.

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