Thursday, August 12, 2010

treading water

When I was a young girl, I had this aversion to water. I even flunked swimming lessons for pretending to tread water, while linking my surely invisible leg to the very visible ladder. Fail! I lived in the Midwest, where I spent years and years landlocked and naive about the true power and calling of the ocean. I knew astrologically, I was a water sign, and read water was to feed and calm me; the ebb and flow of the waves parallel tothe up-and-downness of my emotional state. What did I know about Water? I mean, I was surrounded by corn, cows and land in a color palette so small, you only needed one crayon in your pencil box. How did I know that this natural element could take me from All Things Brown to The Land of Technicolor?
In my late twenties, I convinced my girlfriend to drive from Nebraska to California to be with my true love. We drove through the night, giggling like school girls, as we stayed awake with coffee, cigarettes and bad country music. The moment we rounded that corner on Hwy 101 and saw this beautifullimitlessnourishingomnipotent ocean, I was speechless. I was home.

This liquid meditation continued to nudge me through life. As I began my life as a wife and mother, the water was always a subtle reminder to calm down. Amidst conditions and hardships in my marriage, I often sought comfort by seeing myself atop a mountain overlooking water. My back was strong and straight with a long white blonde braid down my back. Surely it was a metaphor for me to stay steadfast; sitting on top of strife instead of wallowing in it. There may be a lot to conquer, but the clear, cerulean waters would tap me on the shoulder and remind me that I'm going to be okay. I'm a survivor, for goodness sake, and these healing waters will rock away anything that ails me.

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