The ocean fascinates me. Not only the beach, which promises sand-filled relaxation and a boastful tan, but the ocean itself. It has a face that reflects the sky and we can trust this face to hold our boats, our rafts and our surfboards steady. The face of the ocean radiates beauty as it speaks to us of freedom, vastness and opportunity.

Inside the ocean, just below the surface, there is a completely different world. One surface away—a distance less than I can calculate—there is a world of secrets. Above the surface there is air, while below no air exists.   Above there is a sky whose end cannot be known. Below there are shadows and dripping reflections of light revealing a daily life we cannot comprehend.

In this way, the ocean is like the soul of man. We have a face that reflects the sky, as well as our experiences, relationships and self-awareness. Just behind the face—a distance less than I can calculate—there is a depth of mystery. Every person holds within themselves an entire world of riddles, subtleties and treasure: buried treasures that gleam in the light reflecting through the windows of the soul, as well as other riches that have been buried below the currents of darkness and doubt.

Consider the flight of a bubble, which begins on the ocean floor. It is attached to the darkness until it is fully formed and heads upward toward the sun.

The journey a bubble takes reminds me of the way in which the soul releases pain, worry, doubt, fear and anger: rising from the darkness to find the light.   We must not avoid the difficulties that exist in our lives–past or present–or the subsequent remnants that live within our minds, wills and emotions. Instead, we can acknowledge their existence, seek healing and release them upward.

Releasing Upward, by Jill Szoo Wilson

A flipped below which to the surface pops

Reflects the sky, though leagues beneath it pull–

Revealing gems with diamond-studded tops,

A sea of light whose source is hanging full.

The impetus of each new bubble’s flight,

From roots immersed in darkened basement sand,

Is rounded air, which lifts them toward the light,

Encircled safe as is a glove’d hand.

What secrets doth the swelling ocean belch?

Expelle’d burdens freeing anchors deep

From sucking roots whose tentacles do squelch

A million treasures sown now free to reap.

Where curious moonbeams highlight only skin

‘Tis shadow’s chore to loose the soul within.

Jill Szoo Wilson