For the first time in a long time I’ve been swimming in the sea. This desire for salt water came partly from walking with daughter, Hannah, of Slightly Salty Yoga fame. More though, it came as a desire to wash away a dream, a nightmare. Sleeping has always been something I am good at. Dreams can sometimes seem so real. As a child I had terrible scream myself awake nightmares, full on faces pushing themselves through wall, monsters, terror. I learned to cope by waking myself up, realising it’s only a dream, but this morning, well, trapped.
When war comes to greet you it never does so as a friend. In my dream, in my home I was barricading the windows against bombs, and then realised my children were both far away, the infrastructure had collapsed, no way to contact them, or my parents. Fear, fear, fear and hunger. But mostly fear. For my children, for my parents, for myself and Robin. I pushed myself hard for the surface of waking.
Only a dream. Only a dream. Deep breathing.
Walk. To the sea. Swim.
Small worlds of beetles basking in sunshine. A view to ease the mind. The sea, so clear, so blue.
I had taken a stone like a speckled egg. But first, into the water, and it wasn’t cold, but it did embrace and the play of the light on the waves, and the way the waves broke and spray lifted, blown back by a breeze, in rainbows, and the feel of the texture of water on my skin, and the chough that flew over, calling from the blue, and the sway and lift of the waves and the opening of the sea as I dove under waves. Bliss.
I walked the beach with the stone, then left it on the rock where the hare stone had been.
And I thought about how for some my life would seem like a dream come true. Working when I want, walking where I want, swimming in the sea. I’m lucky. And for others my dream, my nightmare, is their every day life and how, how, do they cope. To live with that fear,
To live with that fear.
And when they manage to escape it, to bring their family to safety, how will we welcome them? Please, not with closed doors, empty hands. Please, can we welcome them with love, help and try to understand.
I’ve just heard about this:Croeso Hwlffordd.
I need to get some of my books to the family who have been settled nearby. It’s a good way to learn English, through picture books. And I need to make sure I do more, to help. I’m told there’s a promises auction coming up in the autumn. It seems our council requires £9000 for each family resettled in the area. I promise now to think of something I can add to the promises auction.
Because if we don’t, then war will come to our door.
And when war comes it never comes as a friend.