I’ve had a bit of a “ bloggers” holiday during these summer months, a promise made to my son, but also because I got out of a rhythmic flow of blogging when the “a” button on my laptop along with the shift key decided not to work – I wouldn’t have minded if it had been the “q” button – but control v’ing “a” when working on a blog from the right hand side of the keyboard didn’t make me eager to try! Laptop not fixed yet but we bought a Wi-Fi keyboard and mouse with the vouchers I received from PC World over all the trouble we had with them last year. Positive truth that it is the little things in life that can make you happy!
“Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit."
At the end of July I went down to see my dad in North Devon, and a wonderful friend drove us down along with her two children – it was the first holiday either of us had had for a very long time and the need to get away was strong within us both. We went up and down to North Devon in early dawn, speeding down empty winding roads, the children sleeping in the back – making good time. There was a certain satisfaction that we had beaten the holiday traffic. There is eeriness to the dawn, a misty quiet magical time of reflection as both the moon and the sun share the same sky and the sun ascends to bring the promise of a new day.
“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience”. - Emily Dickinson
It’s strange but wherever your parents are it feels like you are coming home and as we drove down familiar roads and saw familiar sights despite the changes I was home again revelling in the saltiness of the fresh sea air.
“The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combines to create a sense of peace and calm”. -Belinda Federl
I had last seen my dad when I had my breast operation – which now seems in another lifetime, and although we had been in constant telephone contact throughout my treatment it was just brilliant to get a great big bear hug from him and to be filled with that confidence of unconditional love. This holiday meant a lot to me – almost a trigger to start living a more adventurous life again and a bonding opportunity with my son after so much drama with the storms of life. This wasn’t just about me it about my dad, my son, friendship, renewal and surprisingly spirituality.
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” Jawaharlal Nehru
So there I was running around playing Combat Zone, whizzing down slides, going on bike rides, playing bingo, walking along the seafront, exploring little gift shops (and yes I did go to some charity shops for those who know we well) and playing silly games. We were at mercy of the weather but the days mainly stayed fine. There was laughter and finding joy and an excitement in each in new day. For me it somehow was a test of stamina and the proof of my recovery although there were times during the holiday when I realised that there is a lot further for me to go until I feel completely well again. I couldn’t keep up on the cycling, and when I fell off the bike had bruises, and breathless shock which was scary but also found empathy and concern from my son which he had hidden so well over the last few months. Also while at a theme park, for one weird moment, I forgot my pin number to my bank card which blocked the card and was unable to embarrassingly to pay for some food we had ordered, which meant a frantic call to the bank and finding the nearest ATM to unblock the card, come back and pay – it’s my chemo-brain! And then there was the tiredness and hot flushes that would suddenly wash over me telling me to slow down and the leaving behind and letting go of the mixed emotions of the past few years.
"To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t about winning or losing. It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not about giving in or giving up. Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat. To let go is to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on. It is having an open mind confidence in the future. Letting go is learning and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow. It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will have soon gain. Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving. Letting go is growing up.”
Being by the sea has always been a source of comfort, healing and reflection and it was no different this time, as the children laughed splashing in the waves, or my son as usual building an epic construction in the sand (he has always done that since a small child) I wrote my name in the sand and set about searching for unusual stones glinting in the wet pools stuck between the rocks. The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze and sea was sparkling and whispers of waves as they lapped the shore. While searching for my stones I talked to God, thought of everything I had to be grateful for – I was calm, serene and at peace with myself and I felt a time of warmth within my soul which is such a good feeling to have. The stones outlined my name encircled within a heart. Why was I doing this – not only because I love finding beautiful and unusual stones but also because I had read somewhere that if you write you name in the sand, when the tide comes in it will wash it all away along with all the pain, negatively and bad feelings allowing you to let go, feel free and to move forward.
“I wrote my name within the sand filled with stones of colour & shade then watched the tide sweep it all away along with the pain of yesterday” – Belinda Federl
“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells or pebbles on the beach; one can collect only a few & they are more beautiful if they are few”
“Laughter of children splashing in waves, creative structures of sand, blue skies ahead & letting the world slide by in a moment of time.” Belinda Federl
“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” Kate Chopin
I came away from my holiday with renewed energy, hope and purpose with a calmness of spirit which was good because unfortunately drama in my life is never far away!
I hope that your summer season brings you a change of pace to life, an opportunity to refresh and renew your batteries with restored energy and the leaving behind of your problems and worries if just for a moment and brings hope and a lightness of spirit.