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My Mom's Wise Words

July, 2018

Ocean Swimmer    Photo by Bill Scala

What Heals Your Wounds?

The other day, my neighbor asked about the highlights of my recent vacation in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She thought my answer would be something like delighting in delicious lobster rolls. Nope!

I may have surprised her with my answer.

Of course, I really enjoyed seeing numerous members of the Clark and Scala families, including my first adorable grandnephew. And sure, I ate some pretty phenomenal seafood. I even got to visit gorgeous Block Island (off the coast of Rhode Island) for the first time.

But the biggest highlight?

Swimming with my people. Immersed in the chilly Atlantic Ocean, I am both here and there. This is what brings such joy.

Here, I am joined by a fearless twelve-year-old nephew who is learning to navigate incoming waves without getting washed up to shore. With him, I am twelve again. Joyful and so carefree.

There, I remember the last time I saw my mother before she died. On a warm day in early October, she let me guide her over a rocky ocean floor in Sandwich, Massachusetts to get one final dip in the salt water before the chill of autumn made swimming unbearable.

Here, I share a fondness for the restorative power of saltwater immersion with a sister-in-law. She gives me that knowing glance and we don’t really have to say anything more.

There, I am “with” my deceased father, mother, sister and brother whose ashes were all scattered in this familiar sea. Swimming “with” them gives me a comfort I cannot put into words.

Here, I float in the ocean and get a respite from the throng of holiday beachgoers who are sitting on towels and underneath umbrellas. It’s quieter a few yards from shore!

There, I hear Mom’s classic phrase, “Salt water heals all wounds,” and I nod to her, once again, in agreement. Playing in the waves, there’s a welcome temporary amnesia about the troubles in our world.

Whether alone or with others, swimming in the Atlantic may be my most reliable happy pill. If I am ever overcome with depression or grief in the future, I am grateful to know where I need to go.

If you could make one wish to be transported to a place that fills you with joy, where would that wish take you? Is it indoors or outdoors? Is it nearby or far away? Or is it a spot that you can travel to in your imagination? Is there some location that “heals all wounds” for you? I sure hope so.

And if there isn’t, do keep searching.

Comments on this blog post are welcome — see the bottom of this page.


Prompts For Joy

Click here for five minutes of beauty underwater.

(Thank you, Cindy Gum!)

Click here to see a surprising swimming duo.

(“Bear-y” grateful, Claudette Bergman!)

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.


Pictured Above

Floating in the Atlantic. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda. Photo by Bill Scala.

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