The other night I was walking on the beach in Rye, New Hampshire.  It was dark and I was alone, which is rare for me since I am usually either working or with my kids.  I went for a quick surf trip after having a rough week with my husband.  I knew I needed a new perspective and there is nothing like the ocean to cleanse and refresh my mind.

As I walked in one direction I caught myself thinking about all the things we had said to each other, all the reasons I was angry,  all the ways that culture gave me a different idea about what marriage would be like.  I caught myself.  Maybe it was the sound of the waves or the feel of the salt air, but in one moment I noticed how caught up I was in my thoughts and immediately cut through.  “Stop thinking” I told myself.  It’s not helping.  And I stopped.  Just like that.

I saw more clearly my surroundings.  There were some lights on the beach from the houses that sit on the ocean.  But mainly it was dark.  There were some other people, whose voices I heard, but the ocean was louder than them, which made me feel more by myself.  It was low tide.  I thought I saw glimmers of light on the water, perhaps a kayaker wearing a head lamp.  When I got toward the end of the walk and near the parking lot, I was struck by two headlights glaring in my eyes.  I was shocked that someone could be aggressive and selfish enough to shine their lights into my beautiful darkness.  Immediately, I felt annoyance in my cells.  And then I looked away from the lights.

I looked away from the lights and they were directing me toward the most beautiful golden, round moon floating over the horizon.  Moments earlier there was nothing there and now, it was shining magnificently.  I lost my breath and in that moment I gave all my worries to the moon.  I asked it to bathe me and to lead me and in that moment the moon asked me if I could forgive and practice love.  I told the moon yes.

by Emily Garrett