Self-Care Challenge (Day 18): Listening to the Ocean

On day 18 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I spent some time listening to the mesmerizing sounds of the ocean.

Belize is home to an impressive community of diverse wildlife. Within hours of arrival I saw Roseate Spoonbills, hermit crabs, cranes, tarpon…and of course, the lesser-loved mosquito. But the ocean is the real showstopper.

Its stunning shades of turquoise and royal blue painted the ocean clear to the horizon. You can see it from nearly any direction, and even when you can’t see it you can hear it. A native shared with me that he once traveled to Montana, but felt claustrophobic with the mountains surrounding him. He didn’t like that he couldn’t see the ocean — he felt trapped. (Quite an ironic perspective compared to those who see the “Big Country” as an escape from the confines of urban living, right?)

The expansive Caribbean ocean waves pushed relentlessly against the shore, obeying the strong tropical winds. And out on the horizon, waves were breaking against the second largest reef system in the world, their white-caps appearing like small mountains from a distance.

The movement of the water was mesmerizing. Its steady rhythm has a way of dissolving even the most troublesome of worries, making it easy to understand how the term “island time” originated. Time moves more slowly here. The sun melts like butter into the skyline before you even realize the day is gone.

When you really think about it, vacation is a state of mind. At any time, we can escape into our own image of paradise…and I’m fairly certain I will be returning to that pier again to listen to the ocean.

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