The Ocean (A Parable)

I recently took a trip to the sunshine state of California alongside my wife with the intention of getting some much needed rest and relaxation from our everyday lives. Outside of my spiritual life I find myself constantly surrounded by the regular issues we all face such as workplace stress, balancing budgets, and taking our dogs for their trips to the vet. It takes it’s toll over time and we felt if was a great opportunity to get away. While out exploring one afternoon we ended up at one of the local beaches and I couldn’t help the urge to put my feet in warm Pacific waters. As soon as the blue water touched my feet I was instantly taken over by several profound realizations about the ocean and how deeply connected we are to it spiritually. The ocean has many things to teach us and there has been countless poems, songs, and stories written about it relating all that it has to offer.

In this particular moment though I felt instantly aware of a story the ocean was trying to tell me, so I breathed in deep, and did my best to listen:

Long ago, the ocean was an artist. The ocean spent all the time it could creating canvases of brilliant scenes and landscapes, never quite satisfied with a finished product and constantly choosing to start over and over again. Attempting perfection with every creation had a great toll on the ocean though and the children began to grow weary of waiting endlessly for the ocean to create it’s final masterpiece. A masterpiece in which they could all finally live and call home, together as a family. 

One day, after discarding it’s latest work in a fit of frustration and sadness, the ocean decided to converse with the only being it believed would be able to understand what it was ultimately trying to accomplish. The ocean knew that the only being of equal creating power to itself was the sky and one afternoon the ocean opened itself up and explained it’s situation with a heavy heart.

Sky, I have laboured long and desperately to create a home for my children. One that is perfect and without flaw, one in which we can all live together and provide the children with opportunities to become creators themselves. I have dreamed this dream for so long that I feel it is but mere steps away from completion, but every time I believe I have finished it I find a flaw. I know that my children will be left unsatisfied and therefore I must start over. I see how you have a created such a beautiful home for your children, the clouds and stars always seem so happy, so content. Please, tell me the secret that I am unaware of. Tell me the secret of perfect creation.

The sky considered the ocean’s request for a moment and then spoke lovingly what he knew to be true. 

“Sweet ocean, what makes you believe that I have ever created something so perfect that I deem my work to be done? I am an artist just as you are, dear ocean, therefore I believe my work is never done. The service I provide to my children, the stars and clouds, is the same as what you do for your children. The only difference between you and I, sweet friend, is that I find peace in knowing the process of creation is never finished, while you seem unsatisfied feeling that your job is never done. Tell me my friend, do you not enjoy creating homes for your children? Do you not see how the service you provide for them creates love and joy in their lives? Why would you ever want that to end? You are an artist dear ocean, embrace what you know as your creations and let your children settle where they please. Join me in finding happiness knowing our work is never done and our service to our children will never be truly finished.”.

All at once, the ocean understood and wept with joy as he realized how lonely he would be if suddenly he could never create for his children again. All at once, the ocean understood the gift he had been given and desired more strongly than ever to be at peace with his children. The ocean saw for the first time that his children would always need new homes and embraced this as her strongest passion. And so the ocean still creates homes for her children and embraces the journey she is on, finding happiness in the creating process as opposed to finding its end.

The ocean spoke this to me as I watched the waves crash in to the shoreline and leave behind beautiful pictures as the water receded. It reminds me that we are all creators and that we can find peace in embracing the journey as opposed to finding it’s end.

Until next time, I love you all



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