Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Boat Sanctuary

Tuesday July 31, 2007:


As the drum began to beat, I breathed deeply and connected with my intention.

“I journey to find my place of safety”; I said to myself three times.




I stood in the clearing on the side of a lightly wooded hill. The grass was long. The sun eased itself between the trees, lighting up a gateway between two of them, dark and mysterious.

I moved through the trees into the dark shiny cave and began to hunt for a way through. Each tunnel led to a dead end. Once, I caught the glimpse of dark water but I could not reach it.

In frustration, I retraced my steps, squeezing my way past the trees and clambering up the steep side of the rock. The rock fell away sheer to my right and I had to cling on, leaning to the left as I crawled round. NO matter how hard I climbed, the other side of the hill was always as far away as ever.

For Hours and hours I crawled on. My knees became sore. The thought that I might never get there chewed away at my resolve, but still I scrambled on.

There had to be another way. I looked down at the almost perpendicular drop and my head swam. It was such a long way down. But I was so tired of not getting anywhere. ON impulse, I stood, stretched out my arms and leaped.

I was flying, flying high above black shiny rocky hills, down towards the glittering sea. And then I was edging my way along the black sheer cliff, with the sea tossing vigorously below. My head swam again and I pressed back into the rock, determining not to look down.

Step by step I made my way down to a triangular green grassy patch above the foaming sea, tossing over jagged dark rocks. This was not it. I lowered myself down into the agitated waters and struck out against the current. I edged the rocks, clinging to their sliminess as the water tugged at my body.

The rock I found was flat, a few feet above the dancing waves. I wriggled onto it and lay down. And all around me, the seals came and lay down with me. But this was not it. I had to move on.

I slid back down into the wild sea, swimming once more through the archipelago of rocks, scattered like discarded teeth at the end of the world and there it was. A small, simple wooden boat, bobbing amongst the rocks. I clambered over and into it, and finding a rough old blanket folded neatly in its stern, wrapped this around me and lay down.

The boat rocked and swayed and I lay back, allowing myself to go with the motion. The sea danced and tossed the boat. I lay and allowed the movement, resisting nothing and therefore never being in danger of falling out. I rolled over onto my stomach and noticed that all around me, seals and dolphins swam, as though guarding me. I dipped my fingers into the cool waters and crooned to them in the roof of my mouth. I was utterly at rest.

This was it. My place of sanctuary. I lay in the bottom of the boat and allowed it to carry me wherever it wished, it didn’t matter. All I had to do was allow.

I could have stayed for ever, but I was being called back. I took one last look around, and stroked the boat and its neatly stowed oars, and returned, running over the sea, up the cliff and back into the little wood and the clearing.

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