‘MEDICINE WITH WORDS’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY ELIZABETH BLAKE-THOMAS
A PERSONAL REFLECTION ON WORLD OCEANS DAY “I place my intention into the vast ocean of all possibilities, and allow the universe to work through me.” - Deepak Chopra
I am scared of the water.
Around age 5 I was taught to swim by being thrown into the local public pool on a Sunday morning. It was always cold (England generally is). We would arrive for 9 am. I would get changed in a massive, wet, cold changing room before entering the pool walkway. We had to wear an incredibly tight, red plastic swim hat (taking it off was just as painful as putting it on), and as if that whole process wasn’t torture enough, you had to walk through some kind of cold chlorinefilled basin before getting into the freezing baby pool. It was called the baby pool because it was so shallow, yet it was still deep enough for me not to be able to place my feet on the floor.
From the second I was thrown in that day and told to, “Swim!”, all I could think of was drowning! That feeling of fear associated with water still filters into my thoughts, therefore I’d never imagined I would end up living on a boat.
Yes, you read that right.
The person that’s scared of water lives on a boat in the ocean. I will clarify though that I don’t take “her” out due to the fact that I have vinyls, glass and bookshelves aboard, so it is not conducive to a single wave. She stays docked in the marina in sunny Southern California.
However, I do own a paddleboard and venture out into the water every day. And every day I am scared to get on the board and into the ocean. It is incredibly daunting for me. You never know what the waves are going to feel like. I can’t see what’s beneath me (and yes Jaws the movie still haunts me to this day). It can change at any moment, and God forbid a boat comes past and causes a swell near me!
“…the ocean teaches me something new and educates me every day.”
So why do I live on a boat and why do I paddle?
It’s simple. I love it.
I love the fact that the ocean teaches me something new and educates me every day. What the ocean does for my soul is indescribable. No matter my fear, the deep craving and longing for more always pulls me back to the water. As I paddle slowly into the channel, I look out across the vastness and I realise how insignificant I am. How crucial this ocean is to my existence. And that I must give the ocean the respect it deserves.
113 AWARENOW / THE UNITED EDITION