What Calls to Us: Life

There’s this old saying,”The call of God is like the call of the sea; no one hears it, but the one who has the nature of the sea in him.

I love this saying, but admittedly I didn’t fully understand it. Until one year, I went with my husband too the ocean. For my husband, we were merely going to the ocean, but for me I was falling into the cradling waves/arms of an old -yet ageless- friend. I love the ocean. I’ve been around lakes, ponds, and pools for most of my life. ….But there’s something about the ocean that I feel inside my soul. She calls to me, and I hear the call. It’s poetic, but it’s real.

I simply was unaware of how much I “hear the call of the sea” until I meet someone who didn’t hear it. And that reality startled me. I don’t understand it… I didn’t want to understand what to like to go the ocean, and merely be at a large body of water with a beach.  I love my childish whimsical love of the ocean. My old friend.

It is amazing what is kept inside of our souls. Both the intrinsic and the learned.  It’s more amazing to see how often people have something inside of their souls and ignore it. It’s scary to consider. Like the way we have a life to live, but we get so busy being caught up and the hints were sure are necessary to living a responsible life, that we actually miss out on the moments which make up our life. When living this way is prolonged, after a while one has little to nothing to show for it in the end.

So then our society adds on a extra loophole as a “cure”. A bucket list.  Things to do, places to go before one dies. Eventually. Sometime. Soon. …Maybe.

I am surprised how many people have taken to the idea of bucket list. I am surprised at how many have some unsecured number in their mind of how long they have before these things are necessary to accomplish. But what about living now?

I’m sure I won’t be the first or last to say I would love to spend a significant about of time in Italy …and also in Ireland. Both for food, the countryside, the local dialect, and observations of day to day life. And here was a time when that was a big goal of mine. But if it never happens I will not be too disappointed, because I have lived richly in the land around me. I have seen many parks and trials around here, and I could recommend the different ones for different reasons. I’ve tasted foods from my own region and certainly I have my favorites. I have traveled the back roads and the state highways, avoiding the interstate and learning about my own land. I’ve taken note what is around me. I have loved it deeply.

I am living. I don’t just exist here.

But sometimes we do simply exist here. Sometimes “life” is getting by paying the bills, sleeping, running on automatic, surviving. I know that too. But my life isn’t defined by how I make money. Sometimes is makes conversation with new friends awkward, but it’s a shame that we, as society, believe that such a thing is one of the top three ways to define someone. Because really, life is more likely defined in what we love.

Some people love their work, yes. But hopefully there’s more than just work. And what of those who don’t love their work and yet define themselves by it? Shouldn’t “life” be represented by more? What is that deep calling inside? Are we willing to hear it enough to let ourselves be defined as one who loves acordingly?

I love the ocean. Not like a save the whales hippy, although I like the whales too!  Yet there’s an old friendship I share with the ocean. Happy memories, outlandish hopes, immense respect, and a love that inside me too deep to define if you don’t already know it yourself. …but it’s there and it shapes who I am. It shapes the way I use metaphors. It shapes my respect for surfers, for divers, for marine biologist. It shapes my consideration of the animal kingdom. It shapes my hopes for vacations. But this is only one of the deep callings I hear within my soul and live according to that reality and wonderment.

When I listen with my heart, and I learn what’s been placed and grown inside of my soul, then I live in the reality of how my uniqueness has made me who I am to this point. I see how my life has been shaped and perhaps how I would like  it to be shaped instead. I am conscious of my life as I am living it. I’m not merely moving on to another point in time. A someday. A fairy tale moment.  Because the fairy tale isn’t just the ending, it isn’t just the happily ever after, it’s also the struggle, the search, the openness of heart, the attempts to try agin, the disbelief. All of these things make up our life, whether fairy tale or no fairy tale. We aren’t just getting past this moment for something better, out there somewhere, we are living here and how.

Welcome to life.  Make it count.

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