Baptism by salt water. We magically float in salt fluid in the womb, before we announce ourselves to the world. Salt was the cache, the cash, the currency for the Romans. It flavors our meals and keeps us afloat. I was burdened with a boat load of righteous rage, recently. I needed a Lift in my life, or I would drown in the undertow of my hurt. The sea called to me.
Tears, I swam in since a Ground Hog's Day game changer shadowed my life. You know when you Know your life is going along swimmingly and shazam, it isn't what you thought it was or hoped it to be? Loss. That is what happened to me. So I cried until my eyes swelled up and magically, the very next day I received a few signs that the bread crumbs were rerouting a new tale and trail for me. I followed them, with intense curiosity, the crumbs and signs as if a guardian angel were delivering them to me on a silver lined cloud. I took the offerings: an impromptu invitation to the Land Down Under, the stars lining up with an unexpected bonus and my three chickadees having spring break plans elsewhere. Laila, my world traveling heart balming dear, knows my stuff and loves me more friend, asked my what I wished for during the upcoming holiday she was generously and enthusiastically hosting me for. I want to be a mermaid. That's it. I do not to this day know why that is all I set my broken heart on, especially since I am more than a bit terrified of the sea and the creatures that swish there tails in it.
Saline therapy was calling me. I had run out of tears and tissue. I will have a dash of salt with that open wound, thank you.
This trip has change my course. The loss and the little opening to my new chapter, just enough to rethink my investing all I have in Kleenex stocks. I soaked myself in salted H20. Tears and the Sea. Moments after I dropped my bags (yes plural, one was filled with USA purchases for my pals, including bags of Recess Peanut Butter cups and the game of Twister and a Karaoke machine, provisions for my Oz pals), I was directed after the door shuttered behind me, get your swim costume on and sun screen, we have a swim lesson. Now? Yes, you said you wanted to swim like a mermaid and Mark is waiting for us. Manly Beach is 99 meters away, door to waves. World renown Dutch Chef turned Swim Instructor Life Saver (in more ways than one) and now Mermaid Maker, Mark Bemer, walked us to Shelly Beach. Off we swam. Look down. Little Duskies, Laila exclaimed, baby sharks. Shit shit shit. This swim in the sea business is not what I want. I change my mind, I panic and turn back. We are in 6 feet deep into the ocean and I give up. Mark says in his darling Dutch accent, exhale, KK. I had been waiting to exhale, for weeks. Get all of your air out so more can come in. Slow down. It worked. I calmed down. I focused on breathing and swam and swam. The sea altered my cellular data that day. I felt the swim reprogram by broken system. Hooray, new DNA and I am set free from the shackles of my side swiped heart.
When we concentrate on exhaling and well, not being shark bait, in my case, it is quite simple to let go of 'the story. The loss evaporates after the sting of the salt infiltrates the wound. The sea offers a freedom I have never quite felt before. I was lulled by the humming sound (maybe that was the water that lodged in my hearing canals) and the slow motion feel that love takes on in above water life. Every movement felt graceful and intentional. Joy was injected into me every inhale. A liter of sad leaving me with each exhale.
The saline cleansed my loss, my wounds, that still stung. With every exhale I let go of the fury (I didn't know I was so stinking mad), and the sad. New life was CPR'd into me in the southern seas. Day 2, Mark brought mermaid fins. Really? You said you wanted to be a mermaid. Oh my, I feel a touch Mariah Carey, all diva, Get me my mermaid fins and they magically show up? I felt graceful and playful and magical swimming alongside Laila. She has this influence on me as it is. I ran the NYC marathon (I wasn't a runner), learned to surf (in the rough water in Bali-had to wear a helmet) and kite surfed (in Thailand with creepy large poisonous jelly fish surrounding my board) because of Laila. Life is such a fun adventure in her presence, always, in her Let's Get To It world. I transform, I feel my possibility. She lifts me up. I know I am lucky to be her friend. She pushes me, in a get your helmet on sort of way. I find more of me when I am with her. I face the fire, the fear that lays dormant yet powerfully placed and tucked inside of me. Yet, Nothing has come close to the sea maiden swimfest magic of this holiday. We found Atlantis.
Laila swims because, to her, there is no feeling like being fully and literally immersed in nature. She also shares, that the ocean heals her body, mind and soul. She loves the creatures that share their beautiful environment with her. She just knew it would wipe my grief away and we'd have more exciting adventure stories to share.
Mark donned a water proof Go Pro and captured our adventures. With each stroke, I gradually came back to life. To the hope and joy I always felt, that had burrowed in the shadows back in February. The sad slipped away with the tide. Mark surprised us with two videos merged with music (I think I have one of them successfully attached to this article, so you may review if you'd like). He spent 8 hours editing and producing the U-tube video. We cried. The film looks like an underwater heaven. It was ethereal. There is just something about the sea.
I felt last day of summer camp sad on April Fools Day when I washed ashore, back in my real life. I had swum to the deep end of the ocean and I had found peace. I so miss my southern hemisphere friends and my Ariel fin life.
Some times it is just a little sign. A song. A call. An invitation. Lyrics. An article. A license plate message. An instruction to let the air out. That seemingly minuscule offering that edits our story after we have been under towed. Offers and opening, to the sense of renewed possibility. Mine came in a text invitation that I almost missed. I am so thankful for my time in Sydney. In the sea. In the big pool of tears I swam in that cleansed me.
Rather than waiting to exhale. Let it go. Breathe new life in. Deeply. However you deal with loss. Breathe deep and look for signs for new life. They will show up for you, too.