I lie on my back, my arms loosely by my side and legs stretched out, slightly parted. The warm salty water supports my body, pushing it gently up to meet the sun’s hot, sweet kiss whilst a gentle breeze softly grazes my exposed skin as a lover’s affectionate touch. The sky, the roof of the earth, looks much higher than usual today, with a fine cover of thin white cloud stretching out, subtly paling its normal bright blue hue.
I close my eyes and tilt my head back so the water enters my ears and blocks out most of the surrounding sound of people talking, laughing and splashing in the water. My long brunette locks stream like a furry halo around my head, Medusa style. I listen to the air gently enter then leave my body as my lungs perform their regular function. I feel so still, so peaceful and centred but full of life. I slowly scan my body and strain my ears to see if I can hear my heart beat. I cannot but in this moment, I could not be more alive.
I feel the waves of water gently surge beneath my body, lifting me skyward then earthward in a supportive rollercoaster embrace and I listen to the sloppy slapping sound the water make as it laps against my bare skin. Occasionally I hear a larger wave break against the shore, a crumbling rush of air and water and earth as these elements meld together. In between these sounds, there is silence, pure, magical silence. And in savouring the silence, there is a sweet and pure bliss.
Just metres away from me, in this often crowded paradise, lies rows of multi-coloured umbrellas and lounge chairs covering the whole expanse of the wide shore. It is peak beach time, full of holidaymakers from all walks of life sunbaking, swimming, walking, sleeping, talking and laughing, drinking beer and playing ball games. Amongst the throng of tourists, I have managed to find my own peace. Lying here in these tropical waters, I have found peace and love in a feeling that whole of life is supporting me.
My brain wanders from this moment, imagining a time in the not too distant future when I will not be living in this paradise. The natural smile upon my face vanishes and a deep sadness tugs at my heart. Just like the flow of the ocean’s currents, my life’s tide has turned and is very naturally taking me back to Melbourne. Once again, the process of letting go of my attachments to a place and time manifests as pain. As if tearing invisible roots planted where I currently live, I ache, as a plant must ache when it is uprooted from its space in the earth. My thoughts linger on what I will leave behind here, life in the sea, a dear friend and my Amore, my love. I feel my eyes pool with big blobs of sad and happy tears. The sadness of leaving is intermingled with the happiness of home-coming and reunions with family and friends.
Each day I have left in paradise is now bitter sweet. I dive into the torrent of emotion to embrace and experience every moment of it. This is my life. This is life. As much as I have accepted that the flow is leading me away, I knowingly and patiently wait for the tide to turn once more and bring me back to this place and life in the sea.