I open my eyes and wake up inside a thin glass bubble, floating in a sea of feelings, each one a wave, moving towards and away from me at unpredictable rates and in different magnitudes.
I know what this means, a storm is coming, and I pray that this time I can follow the safety procedure and stay calm and focused on that small and delicate space that contains me.
The scars from the last time I broke my glass bubble still haven’t healed. Worst? Sometimes the sharp pieces of broken glass reach the beach where everyone I care about lives, and unfortunately, I’ve had several injured locals over the years. My debris hit some unaware tourists, whom, initially attracted by a lovely beach with turquoise waters and bright golden sand, found themselves in the middle of a storm just recently after they had found a cool spot.
We recently had a spell of bad weather. Unfortunately, despite having endured the first or perhaps the second storm, some had to evacuate urgently because spending time on this beach became too uncomfortable or dangerous. Having so many destinations in the world to visit, I not only understand it, but I have since decided to close the beach when I see that the storm will not be a passing drizzle.
As in all landscapes and conditions, I host courageous adventurers who love my beach too much to leave and have adapted to the environment, creating unique gear to deal with bad weather.
When I fall into the deep waters, an official rescue team makes sure that I go back to the shore so I can rebuild my bubble and heal.
It goes without saying that I think of them every time I feel the storm approaching, and I try to stay as still as possible, but sometimes the waves are so big and violent that they make the bubble break from the outside.
It’s hard when I try to do my best and still can’t make it. When that happens, I let the turquoise sea engulf me and the current drag me the furthest from my shores and into the deepest point. That’s when I exhale all the air I have left in my lungs to stop floating and experience the stillness of the void for a couple of minutes before my heart-pounding reminds me to return to the surface because the locals have probably already sent their rescue boats. It is time to return to the surface, return to the beach and rebuild everything the storm has taken with it.
Last year I went to an expert in beach storms, and she recommended a substance that helped me harden the bubble, but it did not let me see clearly all that I loved about the beach. We had clear skies for almost 8 months. Still, in addition to clouding my view of the beach and its inhabitants, it made it difficult for me to hear the waves cadence and the birds’ sounds. Finally, it ended up lowering the temperature to such a degree that I felt like I was frozen inside the bubble. The sun could not penetrate the bubble far enough to feel like I was at MY beach.
I decided to remove the coating because I missed everyone and everything I had met and built on that beach, and by doing so, I could see how wonderful 8 months of tranquillity and good weather had been for the locals and visitors. Still, when the sun illuminated the bubble, I realized how pale and weak I was. To be well, I could not only observe the beach; I had to feel a part of it.
So I sought a new way to strengthen my balance inside the bubble. I thought if I could resist with strength, dignity and harmony, everything that moved in or out would not move me from the centre, so I started exercising and eating healthy so that my body would have a perfect balance and not be shaken by any wave, scary as it could be. I stopped drinking alcohol to prevent losing my balance from intoxication. Finally, I started doing yoga to be flexible with the subtle internal and external movements on the beach, and after a couple of months…it worked! We had self-sustainable clear skies!
But just as Mokokoma Mokhonoana said: “Arrogance gives confidence … a bad name.” In a foolish display of hubris, I began to neglect that little balance I had built for myself, and the bubble burst again, spreading debris everywhere and causing a streak of storms, for which I’ve had to close the beach until further notice.
I don’t think there is a beach in the world that doesn’t have storms from time to time or beaches that have protocols for emergencies, so I have accepted that my beach will never be the exception. Still, I have also decided to learn to build my balance inside the bubble so it doesn’t break easily.
I hope to receive new and old visitors soon and celebrate with the locals. And for those who will never return, I hope they can remember a beautiful moment spent on my beach even though they have had to leave, and most of all, don’t be afraid to jump into a stormy beach again. 😅