Centurions

She lifted me up from the deep. I had been playing at the waters edge. An unruly wave washed over me. The pull of the tide dragged me out and across the sand and broken seashells of the ocean floor. The undertow let go of my young body and the silence and stillness of life below the surface surrounded me. Floating in the warmth of the clear familiar waters off the coast of our peninsula, a toddler too young to be worried as salt water filled my mouth and nose. I could feel and hear my heartbeat and the quiet vibrations of a world under the surface of the water. Unknowingly I was in trouble. My eyes opened to the sunlight streaming down from above the surface as she scanned the water looking for me. Then her hand broke through the surface and pulled me up. I gulped in salt water and air as she raised me from the deep. The scratches from the seashells mixed with the salt water stung my skin. She planted me back at the water’s edge in the warm sunshine, safe to carry on exploring. As women we stand at the water’s edge everyday in many places. Once in a while we can swim to the surface of our lives on our own, but more often then not we’re pulled to the surface by the hands of a mother, grandmother, trusted friend or someone from beyond our tribe. Sometimes we are the ones plunging our hand down into the surface of a life, grabbing someone and raising them up from the deep. We see and are seen in many places. We stand at the water’s edge in our homes, in line at the grocery store, waiting for the train or taking a seat on the bus after a long day. A lifetime at the water’s edge has taught me that we have to be brave enough to be seen in order that we can be pulled up from the deep. We have to brave enough to be seen in order to pull someone else up too. Through calm waters and stormy seas, we stand at the water’s edge like centurions, seeing and being seen. Happy Friday from the water’s edge at our home here in England.

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