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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Positive Negativity

     Monday night, just after sundown and as the Strawberry Moon was rising, Gretchen and I made our way down the boardwalk at Massengale Beach. The high tide that coincided with the full moon and summer solstice was washing against the steps and sliding in to lick at the dunes. The moon’s reflection on the water showcased brilliant whitecaps, sparkling evidence of the power of the ocean. A couple and their two children wading in the shin-deep water were buffeted around by the oncoming waves.
     A cool onshore wind blew salt air into our faces as we settled onto the deck and organized our modest picnic of steamed shrimp and wine. Blanket and chair situated, I opened the wine and filled our glasses. We turned our faces to the moon and breathed in negative ions, the invisible, feel-good molecules so abundant in water environments, especially the ocean, where waves stir up the water, releasing the ions into the air. When we breathe them in, negative ions increase levels of serotonin in our brains, which in turn boosts mood and helps relieve stress. If you ever needed an excuse to go to the beach, now you have it.
     As the moon rose, its reflection on the water grew wide, and the night was bright with it. We soaked up the moonbeams, talking and snacking and, well, just being in the moment, fully present for the most part, while the experience washed over us and took with it most of our consciousness of anything else. We lingered late, and as the tide began to recede, I climbed down the stairs and stood in the surf and wiggled my toes. I don’t remember being any happier without Clint.
     The Creator gave us this incredible gift, this healing force of nature we call the seashore. I call it my church. It’s open 24/7 and absolutely free of charge. There are no restrictions of any kind for admission. You just have to go. It’s as simple as that. Whatever your belief system, your spirit will be fed. If you open your heart to it, you will come away rich in peace and loving kindness, or if you prefer, filled with The Holy Spirit. Others may describe being in touch with the essence of God within. It doesn’t matter what you call it. You don’t have to call it anything. Is simply is.
     Just don’t do what Gretchen and I did. We left our phones in the car, and when we finally packed up to leave, it was almost midnight. The park closes at 10. Whoops. I drove to the gate, knowing we would find it locked. But living on The Island is a lot like living in Mayberry. I simply called the non-emergency police number (which every woman, wherever she lives, should have programmed in her phone), and told the dispatcher we were locked in Massengale Park and needed to be let out. Within minutes a nice officer drove up, opened the gate, and without a word, waved us through. 
     It was those negative ions, I just know it.

© 2016 cj Schlottman

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Claudia Schlottman said...

I wish my readers would leave a comment!

Island Girl said...

Claudia, as always you capture the essence of the beach. We were so blessed to experience the ocean in all its' many forms as we grew up on SSI. No one ever 'taught' me the calming influence....I just 'knew' it somehow. Thanks for giving us a wonderful dose of the ocean's magic!��������
Mary Jo

D Marino said...

As I read this blog, I felt those negative ions washing me. I so enjoy any opportunity that I get to experience this myself. I wish I lived closer to the ocean so that I could enjoy its wonderfully calming spirit more often. I am one that could sit quietly for hours enjoying it's company ( a glass of wine is a great companion too).
Thanks for sharing with all of us. Deborah Marino

Susan Anderson said...

I, too, find the ocean a healing environment. Nothing better!
Your word choice is beautiful here, my friend. Just lovely.


Billy Brewer said...

I never had toenail fungus until I moved away from the ocean. Hear in north Georgia you just about have to wear shoes wherever you go. Not too helpful if you like to wiggle your old Island toes. Thanks, Claudia....good memories!

Christine Poythress said...

I just love this one.