The stretch of coastline along Tulum offers what is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and I'm grateful and blessed to experience this at will (and I do most willingly!). Surprisingly - and thankfully - it still remains off the radar of most touristic hordes. I hesitate in even creating a web page to show and tell a tale of what still remains a magic place.
I wouldn't characterize myself as a deeply and consistently spiritual person in spite of having innate associations, understandings and occasional practice with particular spiritual concepts. I'm averse to those constructs which can and do become even casually dogmatic. The tendency to clutch too tightly to beliefs and things is an inherently human trait that most often doesn't appear to serve our better natures, or interests for that matter.
That being said, I DO have a deep and abiding affinity for and connection to the natural world. One key motivation or impulse for my coming here was to really engage with "It" and thus, reconnect with a part of me that hasn't felt consistently fed for some time.
And in doing so, rediscovering feelings within me that can and should be nourished by a practice of connection with the natural world which by extension would include the universe (referring to the projections of a spiritual nature of some traditions upon the universe e.g. Divine Consciousness, etc).
Swimming in this sea has helped me rediscover what I've needed to re-engage with in myself and the world. This could be considered a spiritual practice but I don't seem to have a need to label it. It's just something I need to do.
I have a brief, simple ritual after I've put on my fins and walked out a bit: a spiritual greeting appropriated from another tradition and a gesture of my own that provides a moment of acknowledgement for me about where and who I am and what I'm doing, and why.
I greet and enter the sea (I call her Caribe).
There are some waves I swim under or through; with others, I enjoy swimming up their faces, rising briefly into the sky and falling down their backs to meet the next series. I'm continually moving outward and onward not towards a destination, but rather a feeling not clearly defined other than just slightly beyond a comfort zone. It appears that I swim out quite a bit further than anyone I've yet to see - somewhere between 200-300 feet. The only others I've seen out that far are the occasional kite surfer or fishing boat, and the errant butterfly going who knows where My fins provide a bit of confidence in being able to move more efficiently and effectively. I have a snorkel and mask that I use for other types of adventures. My sense has been that I could continue quite a bit farther out but my tendency has been to take risks in measured and conscious ways.
(The Pacific taught me a scary but important lesson when I was 18)
Conditions vary daily from glassy, calm and ethereal to a wind driven, lively choppiness that almost feels like a dance, to mildly turbulent on account of a mix of currents originating from farther out at sea that isn't betrayed in the sky. The mild to warm temperature is a constant caress.
I swim and float; I listen and feel, and connect. Sounds are different out here. All my senses are fully engaged. Mental noise fades away with the wind.
I'm where I need to be: that richer and deeper feeling of sublime connectedness is about really embracing a moment fully. That involves and requires letting go of so much within me, including feelings of fear.
I do this for about 20-30 minutes at a time until a point where I begin to feel either satisfied or uncomfortable, thanking Caribe as I leave her to lay a spell on the beach. I repeat this ritual one or two times more. I love the heat and the sun: the mythical nude beach always appears to be some different name and place according to word of mouth. I would like to remove the tiny remains of a tan line. Silly gringos - and their preoccupations. I haven't burned once.
This shoreline is also magic at night and I have spent many hours under the moon and stars in awe of the beauty before me. This is a place with a quality of light that is quite unique in my experience. You can at times see the stars reflected in the wet sand; the moon can be so bright that it lights up the shoreline in a wash of muted pastels - Sea, Sky, Beach, Jungle. Cloudy evenings provide a rich spectrum of greys.
The sea brings messages that aren't always clear in their meaning. For example, on one of many nights wandering along the shore, I stopped for awhile to listen to some music while casually wading under a blaring moon. I spotted something large in the surf moving almost purposely parallel to the shore from approximately 40 feet southwards.
As soon as it was in front of me, the waves quickly delivered a 12 foot long tree trunk, literally depositing it at my feet. I wondered about the likelihood of this happening then and there, and just had to laugh for a few minutes until the surf tugged it back to buoyancy and it began floating southward and outward until was moving like a boat going to sea.
If this weren't peculiar enough, this phenomena occurred exactly the same way 2 more times in the subsequent 15 minutes.
I still can't decipher what this might possibly mean.
There have been and are many days and nights like this and I embrace and cherish the opportunity to have these moments. I watch people smile at what they see when they first arrive. Surprisingly, fewer people than you might think go swimming. I've not understood why that might be but then I remember that many people in the world don't live along a coastline as I have and are perhaps less comfortable with the embrace it might offer them.
Stray, solo flamingos fly by clumsily like apparitions; pelicans catch the breeze at sunset and they glide effortlessly down the coast in unison; humans stroll by with each other and alone, or with a dog within an indescribable palette of color and light on most days. It's something really beautiful to behold and experience...
I smile at what I'm seeing, and feeling...and experiencing.
There should always be at least one reason to smile everyday.
"Freeze this moment a little bit longer.
Make each sensation a little bit
Experience slips away...
The innocence slips away"