So, around these parts the last few weeks of January involves a child swapping frenzy. Trading that rivals that of AFL trade week. You gain a kid or 2. You lose a kid or 2. But eventually you all end up at the same place.
For us it’s the beach.
On the sand, the number of small folk always outweighs that of the seniors. And in the spirit of the trade, we watch each others kids and we watch each others backs.
Last Tuesday, I had an extra. So with 4 small folk in neoprene under my wings, we grabbed a couple of boards and headed to our local break. And upon descending the stairs in the searing heat I said to my flock,
“Watch the rip.”
We spoke a little about the waveless water but in the searing heat, (and I did mention the neoprene), we all just really wanted to get wet. The older 2 with their boards. The younger 2 with my hands. Wet we did get.
As the intensity of the sun grew, so did the confidence of my smalls. I optimised trade week antics and paddled out for a cheeky wave.
I was out behind the breakers when I heard my eldest laughing, “I can’t even touch the bottom.” Feeling something wasn’t right, I paddled in.
Child #1 and her buddy had realised how far they were from the safety of the shore. #1 was off her board and trying to swim in. By the time I realised what was happening, the strength of a Mother’s heart had swum out. By the time I reached them, she had them back to the safety of the sandbar. And out of harms way.
We talked about rips ( again ) and what to do if you get stuck in it ( again ) and left it at that.
For there were dead penguins to be found. And poked. And put in buckets to take back to the sea. Attention shifted quickly from being kinda scared to being kinda intrigued. As to why the lifeless bodies of 2 penguins had washed up on the sand.
Sometimes the swim becomes too hard a struggle and it’s time to let go.
My words lost on #1 as her and her friend jumped back into the water to swim to some friends. To tell them about the penguins. To warn them about the sandbar. To warn them about,
As I watched the ocean draw them again into the unbreaking waves, I saw my daughter’s wild eyes look back for me. This time without her board, she raised her arm.
There was a rising from the depths of my belly so primal, so loud, so powerful, it burnt more fiercely than the 44 degree sun.
All my existence was contained in that one moment.
I ran. And I dove. Through the sound of my belly into the silent place of being pulled away. Past the sandbar. To the dragging of the sea. Towards the 4 kids. One if them mine. With the strength of the Mother’s heart.
In turn they were calmed. In turn they were rolled onto their backs. In turn reinforcements paddled out with mals. And the smalls were paddled back into the safety of the sand.
Sometimes the mind can have it’s rips. They exist as the shadows of your soul. Places where the waves don’t break. Places where you’re sucked into before you know it. Some rips are familiar. The rip of blame. The rip of guilt. The rip of self doubt.
But some rips are quieter. They sit beyond the sandbar of the mind. You can see them from above on the stairs, but when you’re on the beach it’s harder. And you might find yourself flailing around for a bit.
Sometimes the strength of the Mother’s heart will save you.
And sometimes the swim becomes too hard and it might be time to let go.
Think bandha, kaya sthaityam and bahir kumbhaka.
Through svadhyaya (self study), we gain a deeper understanding of our subconscious patterns that can draw us away from our connection to the source. And each time we recognise one of these patterns, these rips, it is a moment of grace. A moment of true participation in life.
And a moment to give thanks for.
Watch your thoughts. Learn your rips. Open yourself wholly to the strength of the Mother heart.