The Big Blue… not only one of my favourite films as some of you will already know, but also my favourite place to be. I could live and die in the sea. She holds no prisoners when it comes to selecting whom she ‘takes’ and the miracle of how tides ‘ebb and flow’ is one of the greatest wonders of the world.
I took a day off yesterday. My thyroid hormone levels are messed up and I feel like I have been run over. But swimming out to sea, actually quite far so I couldn’t hear the white noise from the shore, helped me re-connect with myself. The ‘Poniente’ wind from The Atlantic is keeping the water icy cold and clean right now (and the jelly fish stay away). It is pretty perfect.
My dad taught me about the sea. I was a Fish and Sea fanatic from the age of two, probably. Jacques Cousteau, Royal Dotty Backs (only found in Australia), fishing and dolphins were like oxygen for me. I must have been a fish in a past life (as well as a February born Piscean, with the ‘watery’ eyes) as I learnt to swim when I was really small and was totally fearless. I didn’t eat fish for years after I went to a trout farm. I felt like my cousins were being slaughtered. Never felt like that about cows, mind you, before anyone makes a wise crack.
As I swam out yesterday and then started to venture back into shore, the following struck me. It is so much harder to swim back into shore than it is to go out to sea. And thus a life analogy presents itself… “The tide is high…” Blondie told us; “If leaving me is easy…” sang Phil Collins.
If you fall down, you have to pick yourself up or you just wallow and stay down; coming back or fighting for a relationship is so much harder than walking away; re-building your business is like climbing treacle when you are at a low ebb (excuse the pun). Life constantly presents us with a different sandy or pebbly shore to reach and tide to swim against.
During my swim back into shore and the humdrum of ‘beach life’, I felt every muscle working in my body; I know the cold water is great for my circulation and skin tone and salt water is one of the best forms of lymph drainage around (apart from Epsom Salts, of course). I was conscious of every stroke and breath, particularly as I have a 50% vocal airway. Sea water is great for sinus infections, eczema and allergies, as well as all manner of ailments (The Dead Sea where I used to live is a separate blog in itself!). Yet we don’t respect the sea enough. Or is it that we don’t respect ourselves enough?
I would actually like to be buried at sea. Not being morbid, simply a wish. Having a bit of a ‘submariner’ adventure could be brilliant and giving my soul and energy back to the Universe via my fishy ‘cousins’ would be far better than rotting in a NW London cemetery (sorry Mum, I know I promised we would be buried together). Just don’t bury me with my shoe collection. A shoal of tuna would end up with the most horrific indigestion trying to munch on my stilettos and ‘bling bling’ heels.
I swam such a long way out yesterday. The space beneath me was infinite. I could see everything clearly – lots of fish swimming about, minding their own business and also me, I could see me. But I had no concept of danger. Dry land, yes. Heights, yes. The sea, never. Even when I know that there are sharks around. Sharks are far less dangerous than humans. At least you know what a shark’s teeth look like from afar!
During a visit to Israel one year, I went on a ‘wild’ jeep ride with a Bedouin to Nuweiba, in Egypt, to a ‘deaf and dumb’ (inbred in layman’s terms, I am guessing) community that was ‘befriended’ by a dolphin in the wild in the 90’s. I could feel vibrations all through (and under) my body as I was led into the sea by a mute gentleman… the dolphin swam up into my arms from below and we played together for a while. It was one of THOSE precious life moments, totally unexpected and natural. But I never looked down or felt scared. I just knew I would be OK.
And I think this is what we all have to believe: that whatever we are going through or however strong the tide is against us, if we keep swimming, we will get there. No need to look down or panic about the unknown and as my dad wrote in my Spanish dictionary when I was 18 – “No rendir la bandera” (don’t give up). Which is quite fitting on Father’s Day. My dad would have appreciated my ‘moment’ yesterday. Keep swimming, people… everyone knows it is harder to damage muscle in water than on dry land.