As I sit in front of the ocean I think about the smallness of me. I am humbled by the vastness of the water.

I think about when I would play in the ocean as a kid and the tide would take me under. As scary and uncomfortable as those moments could be, I never questioned what was happening.

I never fought against the idea that water was powerful and that I had little control.

Instead of fighting against what was, I would let go and then find my way back to the surface so I could breathe again.

And then I would go right back to swimming and playing, because I accepted the ocean.

As an adult I realize I have little acceptance and way too much knowledge.

I tend to focus on what could happen, why it could happen, why it shouldn’t happen, what I can do to keep it from happening.

It’s less flow and more rules, and it leaves me feeling stiff and stunted.

I desire more fluidity, more ability to be taken down by a wave and then swim to the surface with acceptance and a desire to learn and do it again.

The ocean reminds me of the limitations of my thinking. It reminds me how I can easily get stuck in a routine and value productivity and reverence over truth and fun.

The water makes me feel small, but its bigness reminds me of my bigness.

Everything in the ocean has a purpose, a major role to play, and I know that I, too, have an important role.

My role is to be me, and I realize how hard it can be to be me when I’m stiff, lost in thought, and caught up in an endless cycle and routine.

I think about how uncountable others, so many of them no longer here, have looked at this ocean. I know I have a limited time to play my role.

I am thankful to the water for reminding me that I am small and big, that certain things don’t mean anything and that other things mean everything.

Just like I am thankful for the tree outside my window that reminds me to not be mad at the wind, but to stay grounded, accept it, and flow with it.

Or to each star that shines bright without fear that their light will dim other stars. There is an understanding that the collective shine is what makes the sky beautiful.

I am in gratitude to what surrounds me for demonstrating what matters.

And I am thankful to myself for walking away from a routine, even if it’s for a day or two, to remember what I tend to forget over and over again.