Marlene Mulligan

Once Again

In a life full of change, the ocean has been a constant.
A constant source of healing, of freedom, of home.

A lifetime full of memories,
Of arriving at her doorstep, suitcase full of worries, to- dos and things left unsaid.
I would linger there at her door step,
Walk awhile, sit awhile, look awhile.
Out at her vastness,
From the edge.
Drinking her in.
Anticipation building for the moment she will drink me in.
Heart beat quickens ever so slightly.
Only a few steps and you can leave this world and enter another.
If the time is right, I make my way from the edge into her full embrace.
Within seconds I am filled with relief, release and then joy. Even laughter.
As two thirty-somethings become ten again.
Jumping, rolling, diving, giggling.

I often return to the edge.
The edge of the sounds, the smell, the roll.
The edge of that familiar embrace.
It doesn’t just feel like a breath of fresh air,
It summons the breath, one after the other.
Breathing in her soothing strength and power.
Washing away my weakness and insecurities.
Once again.

All these memories of being washed clean – emotionally, spiritually –
Evoke feelings so deep they feel they may be my ancestors’.
Even when I drive by and for one moment take in her vastness,
From that edge, I am transported.
The reflexive deep breath,
Like the kick of the leg from a tap on the knee,
In that reflex, that breath, I am washed clean.
Once again.
Her eternal promise,
For me.