Launching Into The Deep

Growing up on an island meant being surrounded by water. In my case, that water happened to be the beautiful Pacific Ocean. We frequently camped on the beach and I learned how to swim in it as if it were nothing more than a giant swimming pool. It was a source of food and sustenance for our families and we learned from a young age to have respect for the sea.

But what I loved most about the ocean was that though it exuded great strength and power, the ebb and flow of its waves, could lull you to sleep. And its horizon provided the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I often would just sit and gaze at the horizon while my heart searched for hopes and dreams. The definition of the word horizon is said to be the line where the earth’s surface and the sky seem to meet. It is also used to describe the limit of a person’s perception, experience, or interest. You have probably often heard the phrase “broaden your horizon”.

If you have been lucky enough to view sunsets and sunrises from high peaks or even from a ship sailing the deep blue sea, I am “high-fiving” you right now. Those experiences are life-changing. Every year on New Years Eve, many people flock to the summit of Haleakala, on the island of Maui, to view the first sunrise of the new year. This dormant volcano rises 10,023 feet above sea level. The name, Haleakala, means house of the sun. It has been attracting visitors since the late 1800’s. Samuel Clemens wrote:    “It was the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed, and I think the memory of it will remain with me always”. My daughter Nicole, and her family live on Maui and has been blessed to have this very experience. The pictures below are those she took herself from high above the clouds on Haleakala.

As for me, I have mostly enjoyed these epic phenomenons from the shores of life. I have always felt safer in the shallows. I recently read that we were not created to live in the shallows. Though it is home to some sea life, not much survive in the shallows. The constant washing away of the ocean’s waves make it difficult for anything to thrive. You can find beautiful sea shells, but they just remind you of the life that once called those shells home. The shallows is a safe place to wade and enjoy the ocean without too much threat of what lies deeper. The deep, from what I am told, holds the true beauty of the ocean. Besides all of its lifeforms, the beauty it displays is like no other. But in order to see it, you have to be brave enough to make the journey. I have always been afraid of the deep.

In reflecting on the year that has now passed, and looking at the new year ahead, I desire more than ever to experience what the deep holds for me. I no longer want to be satisfied with the safety of the shallow end of life. For everyone, this may look different. For me, it is simply letting go of fear, insecurity and doubt. It is being bolder to reach for those hopes and dreams that until now has just been sitting on the horizon of my life.

Sometimes, it is good to take time and reflect; to sit on a sandy shore and gaze out into the horizon, or in some extremes to travel to a high peak and watch the sun rise so you can get a better perspective. We just need to take in a big breath after that and then launch out into the deep.

A most Happy and Blessed New Year to all of You!

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