The night has become aphotic and the air has grown thick. The water is stiller than usual. The regular waves have turned in for the night, leaving the salty water dormant, waiting. The night air is full of moisture and yet simultaneously empty. The city behind me has grown quiet and my ears tune in to the sound of the gushing waves against the rocks in the nearby beach.
The pool is lonely in the moonlight, quietly waiting for a companion to come and share in its hidden beauty, to soak in its salty perfume and bask in its inky recess.
I brush my hand over my shoulders and push the cotton straps of my dress down my arms. I wriggle free of my clothes and step out of the dress as it drops to the ground. I can feel grains of sand congregating in the creases of my feet, promising to smooth over my skin before the night is through.
My eyes are fixed keenly on the water’s surface as it gleams the reflection of the moonlight. The water gently sways back and forth in the slightest breeze, beckoning me to come in.
I grasp the cool, steel handrail and lower myself down the greying stairs. My toes feel the coolness first, awakening each and every hair. I don’t hesitate. I push myself forth into the waiting water and all at once, waves crash against me and drops of water spray in all directions. The peace has been temporarily disturbed as the salty water celebrates and welcomes me.
Soon it calms down again. I swim in silence. I can hear the sound of the ripples in the water as my arms push through and outward. The tiny waves part in front of me, making way for me to follow. As I swim, my breathing gets heavier and finally it is time, not to stop, but to begin.
I turn and focus my direction elsewhere. I lay on my back and the water supports me. Above me ,the navy blue expanse is like that of fine velvet in a jewellery shop, acting as the backdrop, parading the finest of jewels. Below me, I can hear the stillness of the water in my ears. I can hear the motion of my body as it buoyantly glides along the water.
And now I see the true beauty. There is so much more. I am here, in this small, neglected pool at the corner of just one of many beaches in Australia and up there are the stars of the universe. They shine brightly and proudly, these brilliant balls of light, conglomerated in what I can see as the Milky Way. The night is exceptionally clear and I can make out various constellations. Still, rather than feeling proud of my knowledge of stars, I feel belittled, ignorant and I realise how much more there is that I don’t know. There is still so much to learn. There is still so much out there.
I lay there effortlessly for a long while. As I float on the surface my mind wonders to galaxies far away. I imagine the hidden beauty, the untapped potential of tomorrow and the forgotten mysteries of yesterday. I wonder about the world and all that is out there, past this pool, beyond this beach, outside this silent city. I think about creation and how there must be more. This natural beauty whispers the truth about a creator God.
I realise in the stillness of it all that there has to be a bigger purpose to life. As I lay aside this hour amidst my busy schedule, I know there is more to life than business and distractions. There is more to life than being a slave to one’s self. Perhaps our life isn’t really about us, or for us at all. It is for another. To love, to serve, to bring hope outside our familiar walls.
I think on these things and I realise toes have gone numb and my fingers have become small, white prunes. My body is suddenly aware of the southern breeze that has swept across the water surface and risen from the deep. I climb back up the stairs, clutching my towel and wringing my long hair. My body can take no more today, growing cold and weary in the pale light.
I say a quick prayer as I wrap my towel around my shoulders and slip my feet back into my worn down thongs. I may be going home, and my body may yearn for sleep, but my mind is just awakening.
The future holds promise.