her layers / by Shelby Robinson

it was one of those moments.
that morning, alone, in the water.
just my breath, the sun, the sway of her waves.
back and forth, back and forth.
wet sand between my toes like putty.
droplets form on my lashes and fall back into the rhythm. tiny droplets amongst millions n millions more.
how many of these droplets have collected - in the mouths, lashes, hands, hair, fins - of those before me?
i take a deep breath and dive into the sway of the silence.
eyes closed, i blindly grasp for stones in the sand.
i come up for breath slowly and examine my treasures. i keep one, two, and throw back the rest.
with each new inhale, i go a little deeper into the sway of the waves. with each exhale, i let go of a little more. of anxious thoughts for air. of the outside world.
i swim and swim and grab three, four more. i come up for air.
inhale, dive. search. exhale, examine. repeat.
again, i dive. this time, i open my eyes for a better view.
it’s all hazy- i have sleepy morning eyes, like a dream, but can still make out color and shape.
i dig them up from the sand.
on the way up, i stop for a bit and look out at the horizon of her vastness, at the layers and layers (sand, deep blue, blue, light blue, even lighter blue, white, the ripple separating water from sky) and stop.
it was one of those moments.
i come up so full, so so full, about to burst i’m so full, and i begin to cry.
i cry for joy. for the beauty. for this moment. for how special and sacred it is. for - how lucky am i? to be a part of this? to live in this gorgeous place? to swim in this water? how lucky and fortunate am i? to see what i see? to feel this? to not just see this- but to really feel this? all of it?
how lucky am i.
how lucky are we.
how lucky.
droplets form on my lashes and back into the rhythm of the water. for millions n millions more after me.
it was one of those same moments that i experienced regularly while traveling earlier this year. in that waterfall in ubud, in the mountains, on the shores in amed. and i thought it was because i was in this exotic place i’d never been. but no, no. i just experienced that same feeling, that same moment here, in the state i grew up in, in the water i’ve been swimming in since i was a girl.
no, no. that can’t be it.
it’s just gotta be this special magic- this combination of solitude, paired with profound present-living, of being absolutely one with the waves, the earth, of breaking from the mundane and from my routine. of remembering what it feels to have an overflowing grateful heart.
and it’s in these kind of moments that remind me of how much i have to be grateful for. in my everyday life. it's in these moments that i'm reminded to let go, to disconnect every once in awhile, to reconnect to what truly matters.
i always seem to experience these experiences in the water, in nature.
do you have them too?
when do you experience them?