Cold and gray, far out from the shore, the wave curls upward, rounds, reaches its peak and breaks. It’s a beautiful thing, even at this distance, and I am momentarily entranced. You’d think I wouldn’t notice it way out there, with so many others breaking between it and me. But I do. Something about this one catches my eye, a spark of a thought, a life, a—something.
I enjoy the power of such a wave, but I remain dry-footed on the beach, out of reach of the ocean’s pounding, I’m happy here. I’m content. I’m dry and I know what’s what here on land, out of the water. But then that wave, which seemingly had given out, swells up again, a bit closer this time and so, even more powerful to my ears and eyes, and to my mind, especially to my mind. It presents an interesting, though still distant thought on the horizon. It’s a beautiful thing but it doesn’t affect me much here as I stand solid on the sands of this beach, grounded in the realities of the world as I know it.
But this wave is not done. Once again, it builds, and builds some more, until it is a mountain of a wave. It’s closer now, and so it thunders in my ears, pounding, pushing, insisting that I notice—something. I don’t know what, but I do notice. And then the wave smooths out, leaving a frothy mirror on the surface of the water. I begin to turn away to focus my attention inland, but it’s not done, and it catches my eye again, as it swells, even closer this time. It’s a beautiful wave, but I am busy, with places to go, things to do.
Still, I pause to watch as it rises out of the sea again, cold, so very cold and yet beckoning. It grows, building, and building again. I look around. Is anyone else noticing this mind-shattering event? This wave that will not stop? It rises overhead, curls, then crashes into froth. How can I ignore this one? Coming so close in out of the ocean? I cannot.
I study it. I step into the water reaching up at the beach, and as the wave comes closer, its final effort, I feel it surging around my ankles, pulling me in.
What is this wave’s reality?
It is my own. We mingle in the sand, this great reality rushing in from the ocean and me, a woman standing not so steadfast on the beach.
My ocean wave settles back into itself, into the ocean, one sound, one vision, one reality. And I am with it. I feel the froth as I spread my arms wide, as I, too, become a wave, rising, curling, crashing and turning to froth. And then I know: there is no wave, no wave that can be singled out, individual. There is only the ocean.