Follow me to another part of the journey, a journey to the sea and then a journey in the sea. The grace of a kayak captured my heart. Slipping it on like a dress and dancing with it in the sea. Floating over colonies of moon jellyfish. Testing how far you could tip the kayak to look at them without capsizing. Clear, still days. The water a reflecting pool, glasslike. Skimming across the surface, watching the ripples fan out from your paddle stroke. Taking hikes up to the tops of the headlands and taking in sunsets.
Days of rain and waves. Pushing the kayak off the beach and facing the weather gods. Paddling through the storm, or finding a cove to wait it out. Finding strength and the power to persevere. Learning the technique to keep the kayak fighting straight through the waves. Being soaked through, but still paddling. Paddling for warmth, paddling because you might as well try to go somewhere- even when the wind is pushing against you, fighting you stroke for stroke.
A moment of ecstasy. My first sighting of phosphorescent. Zoo plankton. Wading into the water under a deep starry sky. Drawing in the cool pool with a stick. Making fairy designs. Following the impulse to experience. Remembering to always be child like. With a friend, giggling and splashing, stripping down and plunging into the water. Swimming in the fairy light. Being covered in fairy dust. Entranced by the light in the sea, and glancing up entranced by the sky. Floating in a world of glittering lights.
Part of me is still in that magical place. Part of me is still wandering through my memories of those adventures. I have returned to this civilized life, but I have not returned the same, and perhaps I have not really returned at all. It’s a different I that is here and now.
Journeys have a profound impact. Especially journeys into the wild. I have always been called into the wilderness, I hear the call now, although I am finishing a journey on a different path.
I will be called back again someday. Back to the wild. To the joy of feeling textures of sand and grass and stone and water. The joy of running as hard as you can for as long as you can and then collapsing and noticing another world above you.
In the meantime, I still sleep with my window open so I can feel the breeze on my face, and remember.