I could see the large digital clock perched on top of the bank building, nestled between the pastel Art Deco facades of South Beach hotels. It was 10:54 am and already 92 degrees. The ocean was refreshingly cool as I waded out to mid-chest depth. I was in desperate need of a little sun and seawater therapy.

The water was rowdy, tossing waves to the shore. Some rolled in huge hills, lifting me up and setting me down like a boat rocking in a bay. Some waves broke before they reached me, and the white foam slapped against me, spraying up into the air, nearly knocking me over. At times, I treaded water, feeling its salty buoyancy. At times, I tiptoed along the ocean floor, the balls of my feet pressing down into the fine sand. I blissfully enjoyed my commune with nature, rocking in the womb of the earth, but after thirty minutes, I knew my fair skin was on the verge of burning.

I waded towards the shore; the whole time, the water pulled at me, reluctant to let me leave.

This is where I experience “God.” Not at church, but in nature. In the ocean. In the forest. In the song of a bird or a bubbling broke. These are the things that bring me hope and comfort and joy. These are the things that lift me up and keep me grounded. These are the arms that embrace and the voices that speak. These are the many forms of the divine.

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