Autumn Equinox. A time in between. A moment of stillness amid inexorable change, the slow turning of the seasonal wheel towards autumn. A day of balance where darkness and light are in equal measure. An invitation to slip-slide into the velvety eternity enfolded within each moment.
We found ourselves on the beach, picnicking by a rising tide which sighed over seaweed and sand. I’d been feeling wonky, somehow spun out and couldn’t shake the mood. Gazing at the water and my daughter immersing herself gleefully in the cold waves, I felt old, tired and grumpy. So I hauled my sorry self up, dragged on my swimming gear and picked my way over the rocks after her.
Nothing beats a cold water immersion. Just a few minutes in the salty sea had me refreshed and enlivened, the bad mood mercifully washed away in the gift of the waves over my body. Grandmother Ocean’s medicine, a dose of salts.
Basking in the sun afterwards, I could feel the tension sliding away from my body. It felt like sloughing off an old skin and unfurling myself again, extending into the space around me in a way that life’s hectic pace hadn’t allowed for several months.
I don’t know how long I sat for. I know the children created a beautiful sand-mermaid, with seaweed hair and pebble necklaces and scaly tail. I know my husband went off for a long walk. Somewhere between the sparkling sea and the shore I lost myself, and found that magical space where time ceases, just for while.
Perhaps it was a hypnosis – the rhythmic breathing of the waves, the shimmering sand in late summer sunlight. It was a golden moment, a golden hour. I didn’t look at my phone, didn’t read my book. Instead my gaze widened, peripheral, letting go of that habitual sharp focus engendered by endless to-do lists and the relentless emails and messages.
As the tide drew slowly closer, I sat with my elder daughter in my lap and we sang, a simple round that she taught me, playing with harmonies and repeating phrases with the sea’s sighing rhythm as backdrop. We dropped through some kind of portal together, or perhaps I simply entered her childhood world for a while, the world where the moment is always now, where every moment invites playfulness and magic. My other daughter was damming streams with her father, building bridges and creating new channels, absorbed in a different world of flow and creativity.
Some kind of enchantment was worked on us this autumnal equinox, and even as I write these words, it still thrums in my blood, reminding me that i need this, this stepping outside of the busy focus of my everyday world. That this medicine brings perspective; an unfurling of myself that in turn invites a softness that is sacred.