when you stand beside the ocean (or the power of associative memory)Posted: July 18, 2013
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
—Lee Ann Womack, “I Hope You Dance”
One of the blogs I have in my RSS newsreader is Velveteen Rabbi, written by Rachel Barenblat. Last week she had a blog about the mikvah, which is a pool or body of water used in the Jewish ritual of purification. That made me think of my days in Oklahoma City in the early 1980’s, when I was attending Friday even Shabbat services at the reform synagogue there. One service included a conversion ritual for a young man who, the rabbi said, had begun at the mikvah in Tulsa. That caused me to remember that the thing I disliked most about being on Oklahoma was having no access to the ocean. It made me think about how deeply grateful I am that Terry and I are less than an hour from the ocean here in Gilroy.
We don’t get there enough, I know, but it is there. And I can be there, feel the salt air, see and hear the crashing breakers, and yes, feel small, but know that there is much goodness and beauty in my life.