Walking down the beach, I hear the waves crashing to the right of me. It is a sound that is calming and reassuring for me. There is a consistency to the ebb and flow of the waves hitting the shore that helps my breathing settle and deepen.
To the left of me, there is a high cliff face of rich brown earth, stones and tree roots. As I lift my gaze to the top of the cliff, I see the grass, bushes and trees growing along the ridge. I stand for a moment, in awe of the colour and the contrast the cliff gives to the sand on the beach.
It is when I stop to look at the cliff that I hear it, the sound of rocks giving way and tumbling down the side of the cliff’s face. Something in my stomach shifts with recognition at this sound. It echoes with a sensation I have been feeling lately, a sensation of something sliding away from me.
As I listen to the cliff, I have a sense of how easy it is to let go. The cliff seems to simply release pieces of itself and send earth, rock and pebbles tumbling downward to the beach below.
I know I am witnessing erosion. Yet I am not feeling sad about the sound of the cliff giving way to the influence the crashing waves have had on it. Instead, I feel a sense of hope. I feel like I am watching and witnessing transformation taking place. The shape and structure of this cliff is changing. It is changing because of the air, the water, and the influence of the environment around it. Who am I to say that the change is good or bad?
I realize that I have been resisting change. I feel something eroding within me and I want to cling rather than release. Something is beginning to fall away and I am not sure I want it to. Listening to the cliff I begin to wonder: What if I surrendered to change, the way the cliff does? What if I allowed the shape of my inner life to be transformed? What if I willingly let go?
As I write this, I am aware that there is a yearning in my soul for this kind of letting go. Perhaps there is an inner facade that is ready to crumble and to reveal more of my true nature. What if nothing is being lost, but something is being transformed, and sculpted into its true beauty?
I look at the cliff in a whole new way now. I am grateful for this lesson it has given me. It has been my teacher today, showing me that I can choose to let go. Erosion is an on-going process that changes the face of the earth. It is an on-going process that changes my inner landscape as well.
Stones bounce and tumble
landing on the beach below.
It is on-going work
that leads to
When being sculpted by the Sculptor, be gentle. The cliff is not being transformed in one day. It is a slow process. The earth shifting, changing, letting go, releasing. Change is inevitable. It is on-going. Sometimes it happens so slowly, you cannot detect it, then one day, you open your eyes and the landscape has shifted. You are standing in a new place. This kind of transformation is happening within each of us. You can’t rush it, but you can cooperate with it.
I left the beach feeling oddly hopeful after listening to the cliff. My sense of erosion is no longer about a steady wearing away that is damaging. Erosion has become a shifting of the landscape, a sculpting and shaping that is an inevitable part of life. I can live with it more easily now as I sense it happening within me. It is a letting go of what is not needed.