A Wave Grabbed Me

According to the Internet, the temperature for the Irish Sea near Wicklow, Ireland is 46 degrees today. It’s hard to believe that it was just a few weeks ago that I ventured into these waters. Afterward, a friend asked, “are you mentally unstable?” Another worried that I’d get pneumonia. Others simply wondered, “why?”

Why? Good question! Why plunge into the Irish Sea in February? The dream was born when a fellow pilgrim and I stood on a cliff and watched a strong Irishwoman take a morning plunge at the rocky beach below.

This strong Irishwoman was graceful and determined. She strode into the water without a pause. Feet. Legs. Waist. Chest. Head. Once she was fully in, she flipped onto her back and floated for a few minutes and then slowly exited the water. She made it look easy.

Afterward, she wrapped herself in this cool DryRobe that is intended for serious swimmers. I wanted one for my warmer summer, Lake Michigan swims. I wanted to be like her. Strong. Graceful. Determined.

We talked up “the plunge” with our group and generated some interest. One morning, several of us headed out with bags and towels. We were determined to do it. When we arrived at the beach, huge waves were crashing to the shore. The locals informed us that the water wasn’t safe. One said, “You could just lay down on the rocks and get wet, but there is a chance that the tide might pull you out to sea.” Irish coffee shop – here we come!

Our time in Ireland was full of planned exploration, but the dream didn’t die. On our last day in Wicklow, we returned to the beach. The waves were fairly mild when we arrived. Plunger #1 strode in with determination. Feet. Legs. Waist. Chest. She stopped just short of going under, but she looked so graceful. I wanted to be like her! And I wanted to be like the strong Irishwoman!

My turn! There was nothing graceful about my entry. I dipped a toe in. It was so dang cold! Could I do it? I inched out to my knees. Then, my waist. Could I go any further? Would the tide take me out to sea? Was it really safe to do this? As I looked longingly back at the shore, a wave came up from behind and grabbed me. It threw me off balance and pulled me into the sea. Suddenly, I was wet up to my chest!

I screamed and laughed and ran back to the beach. My frigid feet hit frozen rocks, and I hobbled back to my bag. I awkwardly tried to step into some dry clothes.

Looking back, this outing didn’t go as I had envisioned. I didn’t actually take the plunge. I wasn’t strong. I wasn’t graceful. I wasn’t determined. Well…maybe I was a bit determined. But I didn’t have a cool robe.

I also know that none of that matters. Interestingly, I’ve been working for a long, long time on letting go and surrendering to the mysterious Spirit that is flowing in me, flowing in others, flowing in nature, flowing in all of life.

The wave didn’t politely inquire, “Are you ready to let go of your own agenda, your own goals, your own image and let me take the lead here?” Nope! In a moment, it just happened. The wave snuck up from behind me, grabbed me, threw me off balance and pulled me into the sea.

The wave surprised me! Energized me! Made me laugh and run (and even hobble a bit!) The wave reminded me that I’m not in charge and what a joy that can be!

Copyright (c) 2024, Bridget Purdome, ThePearlDivers.com. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *