Waves of Caring from Afar.
While I was on a trip to Florida, my horse Tom was home, having a freak accident that resulted in his leg swelling to four times its normal size and his being unable to put any weight on it.
After getting the call explaining the situation, I had a couple hours to wait before the vet could deliver a prognosis. Was it a broken leg? Was it superficial? Would he make it? I didn’t know. All I could do was wait. So, I walked to the beach and sat down next to the ocean. There I took a deep breath, exhaled and breathed in deeply again. Gazing out over the sea and listening to the waves crash upon the shore, I was amazed at its infinite nature.
The rise of each wave until reaching its full height to crash and rumble as the ocean pulled back the water and started again. For forty-five minutes, the ocean showed me how to allow feelings of fear and sadness to grow in intensity, until they crashed, let go and released. Emotions — pleasurable and painful — come, swell and then dissipate. It’s never-ending, it’s life.
Tom and I have walked as companions for 10 years. He is, by far, one of my favorite beings of all time, and it was a huge concern to not be with him while he was hurt. Yet, sitting still next to the ocean gave me the sense that whatever presented itself — life, death, chronic injury, healing — would be as it may and that was all right. Upon that knowing, I walked into the wise old sea and let the ocean hold me as I floated along on movement.
Sometimes I’d dive into a wave, safely immersing myself in the water that, to some, symbolizes emotions. Action giving me an opportunity to practice the concept the ocean had shown me. Plunging into water or emotions filled with trust not to be overwhelmed by their strength. Then allowing me to rise up after the crash, and meet the next one to do it all again.
There were no broken bones. The inflammation was the result of Lymphangitis, an infection of the lymphatic channels. After weeks of antibiotics, healing, acupuncture, and love, Tom’s leg was in less pain. There is the hope and expectation of a full recovery.
As for me, I didn’t exactly maintain the peace and acceptance I felt when in and next to the ocean. Instead, I became overwhelmed with the stress that expressed itself as worry, weepiness, frustration and attachment. All of which I would allow, but not easily let go of.
Yet for me, as with Tom, there is the expectation of a full recovery to a state of emotional equilibrium, after which I will be hit with some other experience to disturb my peace and give the opportunity to practice it all again. Just as the ocean continues in waves, so too do the experiences of life. One of the greatest acts we can do for ourselves is to float with the waves life brings and fully embrace the truth that this too shall pass.
Katrina Clay‘s mystical and animal spirit yearns for an old world, and grieves the death of that beautiful time. She is a student of the earth, and lover of animals, nature and music — seeing all as guides for an authentic, symbolic life. Katrina founded the regional wellness publication The Healing Springs Journal in 2002. It is now upstate New York’s original resource for healing. She received her Shapeshifter practitioner certification in 2004, and facilitates a variety of workshops of her own creation. These workshops utilize the wisdom of nature, silence and animals, allowing participants to touch their ancient essence. Most days, Katrina can be found walking in the woods with her dog Z, hanging out with her horse Tom, writing to reflect on her inner experience, photographing the world or dancing wildly to music. She can be found virtually at her website or on Facebook.