past the breakers
by kyra clark
I was small I loved the beach, still do. I continue to learn some of
my greatest lessons from the ebb and flow of the ceaseless movement
of the ocean waves.
The mysterious creation of beautiful waves colliding with the shore
offer some of the most enchanting movement I have ever watched. From
the shore, my mother and I watched the breakers, hearing them thunder
as the water broke hard against the shore and pilings. The air was always
thick with salt mist, and for some reason, the sky and sand were always
bright yellow as if the sun took up the whole entirety of the sky and
My mother loved the ocean. She always seemed happiest at the beach and
less happy at home. Her dark tan showed off her small two-piece bathing
suit as she lay soaking up the sun. Every once in a while when the beads
of sweat soaked through her towel, she would move, letting me know she
was still alive. While she slept in the sun, I would just watch her,
playing quietly with my bucket and shovel in the sand. She was always
a mystery to me, and she continues to be.
Once she was hot enough, we went to the waters edge. She prepared
her body by watering down her legs and arms and face. Wanting to be
like her, I did the same, hoping she could see that I loved her. We
stood there together at the edge of the water. Some other people could
have been around, but in my memory there was only us-the girls, the
sun, and the waves. Then mom moved into the water, her large, grown
up legs making huge strides against the hurtling waves. Initially I
fell, and to be perfectly honest, I still do. She would grab my small
hand in hers, pull me up and just kind of drag me to where I could no
longer touch bottom.
I still remember the breakers. To my eyes they were 300 feet tall and
very formidable to my small frame. Mom, sensing my anxiety would gently
say, Just go under them. Holding my breath, I went under
just before the wave hit us. While she would stand there strong still
holding my hand, letting the wave crash around her. Under the wave it
was calm yet my hair and loose parts of my bathing suit dragged forcefully
backwards with the pull of the water. Mom, still holding on to my hand,
pulled me up and we sped farther out into the ocean before the next
colossal wave hit. Suddenly however; we started to work against something
quite different ~ the undertow.
As a small child I understood the undertow ate small children whole
and took them to a place where giant monsters lived. The undertow sucked,
almost as if it was trying to decide for me, where I will go ~ either
back to shore
or worse! Luckily, my Mom was still holding onto
my hand, and I knew she ate monsters for breakfast. We again went under
the water avoiding another break. Come on Ashley, she would
call, in hurried excitement, igniting a kindred spark in me. We made
a furious dash for what I considered to be the middle of the ocean.
Then the funniest thing would happen. In the scramble and confusion
we would miraculously end up past the breakers. Neither of us could
touch bottom, but we moved up and down like bobbers. All that work just
to bob up and down in the light, surround by the ocean, no one near
us, totally quiet. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore sounded
like distant music my heart new well, a rhythm instilled in me since
the beginning of time. Nothing mattered, except her. We stayed there
bobbing, moving with the water. And although I wouldnt have chosen
to be anywhere else in the world, we couldnt stay there forever.
Once we decided to go back, Mom announced it was time for the fun part.
She got us right up to the breakers and then let go of my hand, allowing
the waves to carry us home lying on our bellies with water foaming all
around us. That old undertow didnt mean anything. I dug myself
out of it, clawing in the sand. Then another wave came and released
its pull. Pull, dig, release. Pull, dig, release. Tumbling and rolling
on the beach, as if the ocean had just spit me out onto the shore, I
giggled, laughed and threw sand into the air. Pure happiness filled
every part of me. Mom calmly walked out of the ocean and before she
could grab my little hand in hers to lead us back to the lawn chairs
I would shout, Lets do it again! Her response would
be, Well see and then shed smile.
Most of my life it seems my mother and I havent been able to move
past the breakers. Its been a choice that hasnt always been
easy. As a young child I chose to see her as a monster slayer ~ the
one who knew everything, who made the sun light in the morning and who
made the moon full at night. When I got older, she was every duality
I needed her to be. She was my friend and enemy. She was lazy and hard
working. Or she had values and was immoral, right and wrong. What I
know now is that she was none of those things. I still cant say
who she really is. I can only tell who she is by how I perceiver her.
The lessons she taught were about the hardness of the world from which
she felt she needed to protect me. No matter the harshness of the lessons,
they taught me to seek out that which my heart knew already existed
~ an entire world of beauty and mystery that still unfolds itself to
me daily, making my journey exciting and abundant.
I am truly grateful for every lesson, and for my mother, whom I love
with my heart and soul. I know I will never be who I was to her, nor
will she be who she was to me. We may choose to get to know one another
as we really are and let go of the past. As we breathe that one last
breath, as the waves topple over us ~ we both move into the peace, the
surrender of our true selves, and into the relationship that lays waiting,
the glassy calmness behind the waves, in the middle of the ocean.
is the Director of Illuminated Wellness Strategies. She began this company
to assist individuals by taking a full body, mind and spirit approach
to health and healing. She is an Ordained Minister and Reiki Master.
Kyra originated from Richmond, VA where she was a business professional
who wanted more from life. In her heart she knew there was more she
could contribute and receive. With her business IWS her dreams have
become reality. Kyra empowers and inspires people to take responsibility
for the life, healing and realization of their dreams. She currently
resides in Hendersonville, NC. Visit her at http://www.dancingmoon.byregion.net
or call 828-698-3660.