January 7, 2013

Silent Beach: A Soft Place to Lay My Head. ~ Kim Manfredi

Photo: Kim Manfredi

Such is the day in Sri Lanka.

I go by way of the rocks. It takes me about 30 minutes because I like to stop and look into the pools and watch the waves come in and out—crashing, retreating, crashing, retreating.

The rocks look as though they slid down the hill and into the water. They have a broken sandy look like halvah. At the top of the hill are the jungle, palms and bush. At the bottom is the sea.

When the waves come crashing in at high tide you have to care for your life. They are big and strong and unpredictable. You have to walk far from the edge of the water if you want to ensure you will not be dragged out to sea with every other unsuspecting thing too close to the edge.

But at low tide, the rocks are a marvel and the edge is full of life. There are pools filled with fish. They dart back and forth unsure about my shadow. They offer me glimpses into evolution, where the land becomes the sea, and vice versa.

Yesterday, we saw fish that crawled on the rocks and jumped into the pools as we approached. I thought of lungfish and prehistoric times. There are oysters, mussels, snails and abalone. There are angel, parrot and other fish so small and so fleeting I do not know their names. They have stripes and dots and ribbons of color. They live with the crab, the urchin and the sponge. I imagine these pools as nurseries, a place where the little ones have a chance to begin their life with ease and calm.

Photo: Kim Manfredi

The ocean is vast before me. The closest land to the south is Antarctica. Beneath my feet is a tiny world that lives and dies with the tide. The seaweed, sea moss or sea grass, depending on where you stand, shines rich avocado green as it dries in the sun. I watch the tide come in. As it goes out I watch and stumble and slip across the way.

Around the second bend lies Silent Beach. It is as if the tumble of stones was neatly swept up and sand was allowed. Silent Beach is really a classic island beach, deserted, except for a local or two. There are some handmade fishing boats along the shore.

The beach curves around and has soft steeply sloped sand. The surf is strong so every footprint disappears just a breath after it was made. The sound is loud and rhythmic, the stuff of silence. The surf can be brutal. Collarbones have been broken and the waves demand respect. But today, because of the full moon, or some other mystery, the water is quiet and soft and warm.

The sky is filled with blue and dotted with clouds. Coconut trees, plentiful and deadly in their own right, provide shade. It’s a long trod in the sand to the camp where we hang—our place, our home in paradise. We lay our sarongs in the shade, our bodies on the sarongs, and then finally, at last, our heads in the sand.

Such is the day in Sri Lanka.


Kim Manfredi began studying yoga and meditation in 1988 to facilitate healing from a severe fall that resulted in four broken vertebrae. Although she had limited mobility in her spine and permanent damage to her right leg, the benefits of yoga were apparent to her even during her first class. She and her husband, Chris Blades, own Charm City Yoga Center in Baltimore, Maryland. The studio boasts six locations, 12,000 student visits per month and has won Best Yoga for 12 years running. Kim runs the 200- and 500-hour teacher trainings and offers her own public classes and nutrition courses. She is dedicated to remaining a student as she dedicates her life to helping others. Connect with her on Twitter or Facebook, and visit the Charm City Yoga page too.


Assistant Ed: Stephanie V.


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