The Sea Sets You Free
When I think of what the ocean means to me, plenty of images appear in my mind.
A typical day for me at home in Australia, starts with an early morning rise, running along the beach with like-minded people as we all try and get the best start to the day. As the sun sets I find myself back where it all started, diving under the waves to wind down once more.
On a Friday afternoon you may find me watching the surf as the sun goes down with a bottle of wine and my dearest friends. On the weekend I will sit on the sand of my local beach and listen to the waves lap against the shore, whether I am with friends, alone or lying under the warm sun with Moacir.
My life seems to revolve around the ocean where if I have any spare time, I want to be immersed in salt water and feel the cool coastal wind hit my skin. I know that many people also seek this feeling and that it is not just unique to me. But before I came to Mision Mexico 5 years ago, I never completely appreciated these daily rituals.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a world-renowned surfing spot called Noosa, where the ocean was just outside my front door. Because the ocean is and always was so accessible to me, I didn’t think about the importance it played in my life. It was just there.
On Sunday at Mision Mexico, the whole family travels the 45 minute journey to the beach. It may seem like a normal fun family Sunday but below the surface it means so much more. This was where I truly witnessed the healing powers of the ocean. These children have dealt with many things that seem unimaginable to me but as I watch them in the water each week, whether it is surfing, swimming or playing by the shore, it is clear to me that they are free.
The ocean can do many things. To name a few, it can act as an escape, give confidence to conquer fears and teach perseverance. Moacir explains to me that as he dives into the ocean and paddles past the last breaking wave, he reflects on his life. With each wave he has overcome troubles of the past and as time has gone by, these problems no longer weigh heavy on his shoulders, just like the waves that threw him around when he first entered the water 12 years ago. He knows that these kids will also experience this contentment one day, with the help of the ocean.
Five years ago, these children taught me something very important. They helped me to understand and appreciate my relationship with the sea. I now know more than ever that the ocean isn’t just a beautiful view and a way to cool off. It moves your soul in ways that can’t be explained and transforms lives every day.