David and Mercedes ponder the spiritual draw of the ocean.
There’s something almost magical about the sea that draws us there, whether to relax, swim, sail, or bask in the sunshine and beauty of the place. Perhaps most of all, it is the spiritual nourishment people are seeking, refreshment to heal the damp, dreary November in their souls.
We don’t get to the beach as often as we’d like even though we live in New Jersey, famous for its shore. However, our family makes its way there several times a year especially in the summer. It’s always a good time and restorative for all the reasons we mentioned above. Well, mostly a good time. There was that time when we took our first child Brendan to the beach at the tender age of three months on a crowded holiday weekend with temperatures well above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and almost no breeze.
It was our first trip to the beach since we became parents. We left wondering if it would be our last. Our newborn hated the beach that day and cried and cried. Luckily, Brendan loved the beach the next time, and the next, and the next.
Pretty much our whole family loves the beach. Our daughter Danielle seems to love it most of all. Danielle is unable to tell us in words exactly why she loves it so much. Her limited communication skills due to her autism make it hard for her to explain. She does love to say “beach,” “swim,” and a few other simple words electronically using her iPad, but it is hard for her to elaborate much beyond this.
However, her smiles, laughter, excitement, and sheer joy while she’s there speak volumes and tells us all we need to know. We suspect that Danielle loves the ocean for the same reasons the rest of us do, but the intensity of her feelings suggest to us that she is connected to the Divine in a very real way whenever she’s there.
Whatever the reasons, people have been drawn to the sea for a long time, maybe as long as human beings have been around. Jesus in the Gospels spends much of His time near the Sea of Galilee. Did the sea call Him, we wonder? The sea certainly calls us. When it does, may we too feel the presence and action of God in our lives.
Copyright 2022 David and Mercedes Rizzo
Images: (top) Canva; all others copyright 2022 David and Mercedes Rizzo, all rights reserved.
About the Author
David and Mercedes write and speak from a faith perspective as parents of a child with autism. They are available to speak, and have appeared on radio and other media. Visit DavidAndMercedesRizzo.com to learn more. Follow them on Facebook at Autism With The Rizzos. Authors of Praying For Your Special Needs Child, (Word Among Us Press) and Spiritually Able and The Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit (Loyola Press).