Mermaid dreamingBy Linda Emslie on 16 February 2017
She stepped on to the sand, feeling each grain slide then grit under her feet. The wind, stirring up the normally passive Top End sea, buffeted her; breaking through the surface barriers to blow clean and brisk across her soul.
Like a magnet, the water drew her forward; moving from easy walking across the firm wet sand to the harder, boggy progress through soft sand that sucked her feet deeper down in to the Mother’s skin.
The white caps on the surly, green, Wet Season waves flashed and fell in a timeless dance that simultaneously beckoned, teased and repelled: “Come play. Don’t come in.” “Dance with me. You’ll be lost.” “Transform within. You will never come back.”
Without hesitation her feet took her beyond the edge. No thought, no concern, just an inner need to be touched by the promise of distant lands. The traces of long-held stories, fragments of the World’s dreams brushed against her skin in the soft foaming kisses of the ancient Territory waves.
The business-like breeze bustled through her being, flinging open doors and windows and clearing away the years of accumulated dust and cobwebs. She felt the stirring of a distantly-remembered feeling. That long ago, child-like joy of leaping up and away on the wings of imagination, to be carried off on magical adventures, to the realms under the sea; or high into the sky to visit the Gods and Heroes of old.
Her heart opened, singing with the wind: of Mermaid dreams and flying horses; of childhood wishes and cherished memories. And as she shared her dreams with the World’s mythology her heart was refilled and restored.
The sun bit the back of her neck sending hot, stinging fingers across the tops of her shoulders, bringing her abruptly back. It was hot. The sun was fierce. And the magic of the waves had receded off-shore waiting for her next moment of escape.
She turned with purpose to locate her dog and return to the car, to her life, to her responsibilities. But it was easy now. She heard the happy laughter and tinkling song of the child inside promising to remind her of the mystery in the mundane. Sure there was work to do. But there was also fun to be had.
* * *
That’s kind of how my day went today. I sat at my computer with the intention of “doing my books”. Ugh! No matter how hard I tried, it just wasn’t happening. And that’s when the rebel in me went “Remember that day you wagged school and went to the beach? …. Yeah. Let’s do that again. Right now. What’s stoppin’ ya?”
I weighed the options and thought. “Well, I’m not getting anything done here apart from getting grumpy. And the dog needs walking… and I keep harping on about self-care…”
What an opportune time to demonstrate another facet of self-care. The one that shows you can get so much more done, by not doing anything. Sometimes the call of the Inner Child needs to be listened to, in spite of the opposing clamour of work demands, deadlines and societal expectations of being a good, obedient cog in the wheel. (I’m not advocating open rebellion here, BTW).
My little sojourn to the beach today took approximately 40 mins out of my day. In that time nothing got done. Apart from me having a mini-holiday and coming up with some excellent creative ideas that I can now share with others. Yes, my books still need to be done. That’s next.
But I have achieved so much more. I feel buoyant, uplifted and ready to tackle the most mind-bogglingly boring task on my to-do list. And my inner talk has gone from “Oh, now I have to do accounts next.”; to “Right, now I want to get this finished before I head in to town this afternoon.”
Time out is great for restoring perspective. And time out reconnecting with your Inner Child is even better.