Slipping out down the slow incline, I'd shuffle my feet along the sandy bottom where sea grass grew like a wavy green carpet. Stingrays often hung out there, camouflaged against the dappled sand, and to pick your leg up and place it directly down again was inviting a barbed tail in your foot. So I'd shuffle along, stirring up puffs of debris until the water covered my shoulders and only my neck and head were above the surface.
Most days, I tend to exist naturally in a state of high energy. Something on my body is constantly moving. My muscles are usually tensed, and I don't even notice it. Especially when my mind or heart are agitated, my body tenses like a jack-in-the-box to the point where even my skin tightens. It was at these times when the warm waters of Luaniua's lagoon were especially welcome.
Up to my neck and utterly alone, I'd let go of the tension in my arms, my legs, my chest, letting my knees buckle and my feet lift up from the sea grass. I released myself to the ocean. The sun drenched salt water received the worst of me with no judgements, only held me suspended as even my head submerged beneath the surface. Sometimes I'd scream, underwater, my frustration or anger or hurt escaping in billowing bubbles of sound. The ocean, like a great mother, would hold me until I draped myself in blessed peace in her arms.
I thought about this the other day as I read an excerpt from a letter written by a 17th century theologian, Francois Fenelon:
'Abandonment Means to Sink Into the Will of God'
True abandonment is a simple resting in the love of God. It is like an infant lying in its mother's arms. A perfect abandonment must even go so far as to "abandon its abandonment." By that, I mean that we should renounce ourselves without even being aware of it. If we are conscious of our abandonment, it would no longer be complete. For there can be no worse hindrance than a consciousness that 'we are wholly given up.'
Abandonment does not consist in doing great things for self in order to receive delight. Rather, it consists in simply putting up with our weakness and infirmity. It consists in letting everything alone. It is always peaceful. After all, abandonment would no longer be sincere if we were still anxious about the things we had renounced. Thus it is that abandonment to God is the source of true peace. If we do not have peace, it is because our abandonment is exceedingly imperfect.