On the last day of 2023, I stood on our balcony looking out over the sea, watching the last sunset. It was a glorious sunset; red, orange and yellow covered the horizon with its beauty. It was a still evening with the wind blowing and clear skies. I looked at the setting sun and asked if there was a message on this last day of the year. A minute later, all I heard was – “I will be back.”
How I laughed. For is this not true, despite all we go through in our lives. The sun is faithful and returns the next day to greet us. Sometimes there in its full glory and other times hidden by the clouds, however the sun is always there reminding us to journey onwards. To keep going through the sunny days, through the cloudy days, through the storms. To weather on. To keep moving forward.
God brings His paintbrush
I love the sunset; it is my favourite time of the day. I pause for a minute and watch as a completely new picture is painted each day. There is not one sunset that is the same. Not one picture that is the same. It feels like God brings His paintbrush and gives us a gift. Sometimes we see it. Other times we miss it. There is however always a gift whether we see it or not. It is always given to us. It is always there, waiting for us.
I have not written a My Yellow Room for a year now. After my near drowning experience, I could not write. I felt like I was on pause, as if I had spun myself into a cocoon. I did not know how to share, nor did I know what to share. There was so much at work in my life from that moment onwards. I did not know it then but that is exactly what was happening. Like the sun that goes down every day, My Yellow Room has started to rise again, peeking over the eastern horizon.
Today, for the first time, I am here in My Yellow Room. It feels right to start the year this way; in the still of the morning as the sun rises. In my space that always reminds me of how far I have journeyed. A place where I can share and make the world beautiful. This My Yellow Room started to form during that sunset, and I share it with you here today in the new light of the morning.
A message from the sun
The year started on the 1st of January with a beautiful message that I received. I had asked the sun for a message and the following morning in my Inbox was a message from a blogger that I follow – Ralph Marston. The title of the message was Journey Around the Sun. I was astounded that I had asked for this message and here it was. My heart was so full. It was so meaningful and the message he shared really spoke to me.
He spoke about how for a year we have journeyed around the sun with everyone else. He advised to consider the learnings, the experiences, the discoveries and even the abandons along the way. That we should consider what has happened, and that there is a new chance to put to good everything we have been through; everything that has been accrued to us through these experiences.
To refocus what has happened towards meaning and purpose. That it is ok to give ourselves time to feel, to care about what is important to you. To remind ourselves of what is important to us. That there is power in our choice, and we have choice. To use this power and it will continue to bring value, beauty and fulfillment.
He continued to speak about the importance of acknowledgement of what we have done and what others have done for us, as flawed as it may have been. That every new day is an opportunity to be more inspired as time moves forward.
I found deep meaning in this as I recognised how I have processed and transformed since my mermaid experience. How God stopped me in the ocean and how this moment forced me to really understand what it was that I wanted to do, who I was, what was important to me and the potential I still needed to live up to.
It was the scariest moment of my life and I found deep peace in how I was able to navigate it. What I did not understand then, more than a year ago, was that I was about to change every aspect of my life. That second best was no longer fulfilling. That I would take risks because I knew, just knew, that this was what I needed to do.
2023 was the year that I completely and utterly would learn what I really felt, what I really wanted and believed in, and that this was exactly what was needed. Even now as I write this, I am uncertain of how the transformation will play out. You don’t know what you don’t know, but you also do. If that makes sense at all. But, somehow it does, doesn’t it?
Taking the plunge
I started to swim again in the last month of 2023. One morning, my partner said to me, “It’s time.” It was a beautiful morning and there was not a breath of wind. The sea was flat. He said, “It is a good day, and I will be there with you.” I reluctantly put my costume on and took my float with us and we went down to the beautiful bay in our happy village.
There were so many familiar faces of people that we had got to know in the water. It always strikes me how happy everyone is when they are at the ocean. How people greet you in the water and share their experiences. Everyone was so filled with love and compassion as I was greeted with hugs and smiles. I felt somewhat emotional as I slowly waded into the water compared to my exuberant run of the past. This time it was a slow and steady walk as I let the water envelop me.
I felt the familiarness of the water. The beauty of the moment. The smile of the mountain and the glory of being in that part of the magnificent, magical ocean. I slowly swam towards my happy place. The spot just behind a farm of kelp. I was swimming with my head above the water as I had not brought my swimming cap and ear plugs, I was not yet brave enough to put my head in the water. My heart was beating really fast, but I felt joy at being there. It almost felt like time stopped.
The gift of a friend
Just then, I heard my name, “Hello, Kim.” I turned and there was a friend from my swimming group. He asked me where I was swimming to? I said just to the kelp. He asked if he could swim with me. I said of course. He swam slowly with me. We arrived at that beautiful spot I love so much, and we paused. We lay on our backs and turned to look at the mountain. He smiled and said, “Do you remember when we started swimming how we would bob here and feel like the luckiest people in the world. Don’t you feel like that now?” I said, “Yes, I do.”
I stared at the mountain, feeling quite emotional as I floated in the water. Absorbing the magic of the moment. We stayed there a while before turning back to swim to shore. I was so grateful that I was not alone. He had been the person that warned me that day to be careful and he was the person that came back with me. I felt the tears. The healing of the moment.
Honouring the moment
I was emerging from my cocoon. I could see now that everything was as it should be. That everything had happened as it needed to. That I had honoured what I had felt, not just in that moment when I felt lost to sea, not just in the moment of swimming out the kelp, but in every moment that had come since then. I had honoured my decisions, my purpose, the people around me. Made good where I needed to and kept moving forward despite the circumstances and others around me. That this was the most important thing in life. To honour your role, those around you and do what you must do, most especially when it is hard.
I am grateful to be able to share this with you. Let us use all our experiences with all the flaws to be all we can be not just for ourselves but for the people around us. In every moment. Try not to miss the sunsets, appreciate the mornings and most of all keep swimming. Thank you for swimming with me.