‘Let me take the speck out…’

I started and finished the day in the water, swimming into the sunlight…

It felt tonight when I was clambering out of the sea, up the steep stony bank, to sit down next to Wends,  as if I had completed a special magic ritual.

This morning I had run along to the naked beach – all day today, when explaining to my Spanish friends where I swam, I have been describing it in Spanish as ‘La playa sin la ropa’, because I don’t know the word for naked…

Desnudo… I have just looked it up! I like that word….

So today I was descalza y despues denudo.

But until now I didn’t know the word, so I ran to ‘the beach without clothes’, thinking as I ran that maybe I would swim… On arriving there, a naked man fresh out of the sea was standing drying himself with his towel – I was immediately inspired to follow suit, and take my skinny dip

I ran and walked on the stones to the end of the cove, stripped off my shorts and vest, and trod quickly down to the water’s edge… I was immersed in the limpid, turquoise blue giant swimming pool, in a matter of seconds.

The sun was shining on the water making a pathway of golden light which I swam in, as if they were tram lines. I bathed my body and soul in the sea and the sun, and emerged onto the beach feeling like an ethereal naked nymph.

The beach was deserted except for two or three others, and a man fished in his boat off the shore… The sky was heavy with cloud and I felt transparent, naked, wild, free, me – alone on a stony grey beach in Spain, lit by sunny bright, translucent light filtering through.

The day unfolded with ease… My friend Wendy and I passed it much as we did when we were at school together; wandering about, sitting, talking, eating, sharing…

On the way back from lunch, Wends trod on a little shard of glass… I picked it from her foot, after a rather painful process… But as she said, it hasn’t made her want to wear shoes.

She saw it as part of the barefoot journey…

To watch our tread with more care; to take notice of each footfall, to be aware – to be conscious… To make each step one of meditation and presence..

But also to work through the times that the foot treads on something we cannot foresee…

As I was concentratedly working on Wends foot – my iphone torch as a bright light – as gently as possible working to remove the shard , I was reminded of the gospels and the importance of always working to clear whatever is blocking our own tread  – whatever we are not looking at within ourselves…

If we are to help another, the first place to look is within ourselves always… To be as clear as possible when we offer care, give advice, move to look after another…

In the gospels the reference is to the eye, rather than the foot, but it is simply a metaphor…

‘How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye?’

The words are relevant for every aspect of care. True love, true healing comes from a place of clarity within us, from a place of self love and a place of clear vision…

And so as I worked to get the shard of glass out of my friend’s foot, I reflected again on the commitment to always keep looking for any shards within myself that need to be removed…

And then when the operation was successfully  completed, we both went to the beach to sit and stretch and be…

After awhile I dived once more into the special watery magic and swam this time into the rays of the setting sun; feeling joyous in body and spirit.

 

 

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