the she within my natural world

This text was presented to the FlipSide New Writing Competition in 2015, with the theme : A Sense of Place and the Natural World.

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Once again, I am in front of Her, and I am being breathed, opened, revitalized. To the point of feeling reborn.

The first time I recall becoming aware of Her subtle and not so subtle presence, I was 6, or somewhere around. Standing up, my bare feet in the water close to Her edge, I noticed for the first time Her mind blowing vastness, and strength. That day, for whatever reason, I was mesmerized by Her outgoing tides trying to suck me, bit by bit, into Her cold, salty deep body. “I can’t get out”, I yelled scared. “Just take a step backward”, my sister yelled back at me. I am not stupid, I know that, if She wasn’t holding me so powerfully, I would have done it already, I told myself. Within the next minute, She had caught my feet and rolled me within one of Her incoming tides. The next thing I knew, I was lying down on the sand, shaken out of my trance.

My hair was full of sand and I had lost the precious ring my sister had given me for my last birthday, since she is incidentally my godmother, her being the oldest and me the youngest sister of a family of nine children. I was proud that it was sprinkled with my birthstone, a small purple Amethyst, and not feeling it on my finger anymore made me so sad. Especially that I’ve always done what I had been told so I would not lose it. I had put it in my mouth when I washed my hand at home or at school, and in its teeny tiny jewel box at night before I went to sleep. “You shouldn’t have been wearing it to play in the sand”, she scolded me.

But no matter what, the next day I was playing again with Her, jumping in Her waves and bursting into laughter each time I scooped up Her salty water with my nose, my mouth. How could I stay away from the pure joy She brought into my life?

Retrospectively, I am wondering if She took my ring as a token for the long, meaningful commitment we were going to develop over the years? And by embedding this memory in the depth of my cells, as early as it was possible for my psyche to process it on its own, if She was trying to make sure I would always remember to Whom I was wedded? What I know is that from the beginning my whole incarnation has been tattooed with Her, or Her more obvious form, water : my Solar sign being in Pisces, my Rising sign in Scorpio and my Lunar sign in Cancer.

Forty-four years later, I met Her once again but this time in a totally new fashion. I had been unexpectedly invited to the Îles de la Madeleine for three weeks : my friend N. wishing me to experience the beauty of her homeland, an archipelago interweaving height different islands, with almost no trees, and kilometres of beaches. Where your skin was brushed by a gently sea breeze, or a strongly warm wind. A land, with a view on the sea from almost anywhere you are on the ground.

Being by myself most of the day, while N. was at work, I started exploring everywhere and everything in walking distance, then by car – the traditional herring smokehouse, the beaches nearby, the colourful houses, the skilful artisans, the beaches further away, the cafés, the lighthouses, the red cliffs eroding just as you walk by, the beaches far far away, the kite-surfing fans – my perspective slowly becoming wider and wider.

Day by day, I was grounding myself in this very peculiar and spectacular surroundings, always aware of Her presence on the corner of my eye, or straight in my face. Day by day, I reconnected with a long time buried longing for her vastness, for the way She made me feel. Part and One with the Whole.

Her calling was becoming so tangible once again, I felt compelled to make the quieter beaches, dunes and capes my favourites, – in fact, every or any place that I felt free to meditate – my shrines so I could be in a deeper resonance with Her. Bringing my iPod, I started chanting for Her, while She was breathing me. While Her tides were rocking my being. Up to the point, as we merged to form a We space, my mind experienced a peaceful silence, my body a revitalizing energy, my heart a profound compassionate embrace.

How could I had let myself drift away from Her to the extent of almost forgetting about Us? Why so many years between my first unconditional encounters and this time? I suppose my longing for Her was necessary so I could stop fighting Her invisible, tangible presence in my life, believing that She was going to turn me into a weirdo : un-grounded, addicted to bliss rushes, denying nature its incarnated traits and values, unless it was serving my desires to glow, but without the dark. Without getting my hands dirty with all those shadows of mine, which needed badly, or not so badly, to evolve, to come to light.

I know now that this time was more than necessary so I could become aware of this belief. So I could choose to make it my reality, or let it go and honouring the truthfulness of Her transforming, healing presence in my life : She was part of myself, as I was part of Her.

A time that felt like eons, but created the space for me to realize that by withdrawing from Her, I was withdrawing from a Huge part of myself. And this goes without saying that, if I choose to remain stocked in that state, there was no way I would feel Whole, again or ever.

Growing up, waking up are long processes, worth their shitty and blissful moments, if I am able to transcend and include what was behind and embrace the new. If I am able to let myself being turned upside down, outside in, squished, skinned, ripped from my old beliefs, values, and habits, at least those that do not serve me anymore. That do not serve my relationship with Her.

Now that I am wide open, that She has fully penetrated me, now that I have totally embraced the Us between ourselves, I don’t need to be by the sea to feel Her vastness, to be connected. Within, and without.

Now that I have cleansed my resistances toward Her, whenever I embody Her qualities in my natural world, I feel Her shivering presence under my skin.

She is the space in which I have found my place.