The sea was rough today, mirroring my emotional interior. Yesterday, it was smooth and calm. A oceanic pathway to what was to come next. It was like the ocean knew what it was like to leave my child behind. That I would need smooth passage to be able to complete the task. But today, as I left the child behind, the angry waves crashed against the hull as it carried me away and afar.
The sky threatened tears, but held them back as I did my own. The white caps on the waves, undulated the long goodbye, waving out my heartbreak on every single nautical mile.
The motion of the ferry only made my internal imbalance more severe and I had to take many laps around the deck to save myself from vomiting. I wonder now why I felt the need to keep the bile, would I have not felt better if I purged? But I held it in, holding it at bay as if to succumb might be my final undoing.
Like a mooring released, I wandered childless across the bow. Apron strings unbound from their purpose. Freed from mothering for the moment, I was forced to face myself as woman. As a person who for the moment had only herself.
I felt lost, aimless, saddened. Bereft. That feels like that right word. While I could always see the shore, it loomed out of reach much like my heart. I wanted to steel myself against the watery depths but an ocean is a thing that cannot be tamed or controlled, and that is what raged inside me, a swelling tide of emotion, ragged and severe despite its proximity to solid ground.
So the sea raged and the boat pitched and yawed. Giving me a visual for the way I felt inside, confirmation that what I was doing was seaworthy and right. And the sea told me its secret, about how it always has the potential to rage and to calm. It told me that its surface is the only thing that is disturbed by the outside forces, the deep within silent, steady, true. The sea relayed to me that it is only the surface waters that are easily agitated by the coming winds. Weather being unchangeable for all that exists above, and remains unchanged below.
I learned the secret today of how the ocean persists...it knows that what is held deeply within cannot ever be changed no matter what conditions might come to alter and mar the surface. It is the depths of our personage that are steadfast to our mission. The place where God dwells and spirit reigns. I can be like a vessel on the surface, easily cast about by the changing weather and tides. Or I can reach within and find the calm in depths of myself, the place where weather foul or fair does not touch. And I can go there always to find a calm even while a storm ravages the surface. Forever holding me in peaceful serenity in life’s endless mishaps and sudden turns.
The sea complimented my deep internal structure, holding me well and giving me a landscape upon which to paint my pain. A calm, peaceful abiding to bring him here, and an angry torrent of savage waves to carry me away. Allowing the past, the ever present and hurtful past to be cast anew on those savage waves. Holding me steady even as the surface raged. The ocean allowing me to set adrift my angry tides, my raging seas, my wounded mothering and leave it there on inside passage of Alaska wild. Granting me passage to a new beginning, if even only for myself, while holding space, a safe, deep passage for him always.