This is part of my current writing project.
The ocean has long held captive my attention; I'm not sure where it all started. I do remember, early on, visiting my grandmother in Astoria, Oregon. She lived in a small house on the beach (Grandma's beach, as we called it). As we'd walk the beach, we'd explore the various flora and fauna that washed up. I'd gotten a book about marine biology and some of the coastal wildlife, and I guess that jived well with a long-standing interest in biology in general.
Sitting here, on the beach that morning, reminds me of the breathing practiced in zāzen --- endlessly filling in and withdrawing. Life goes on around the surf, the surf the constant background.