Before I set out on my journey South by Southeast this weekend, to visit friends, attend ceremony, and go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, my very good friend cautioned me to be careful swimming, because, “There be Dragons… And Rip Tides.” I laughed with him nervously about the Dragons, and assured him I know what to do about Rip Tides.
So I set out on my road trip, covering 100 miles on Friday, arriving at my friend’s house, after some mild excitement on the way down.
Next morning, I overslept my alarm, so I missed the 8:00 am water blessing ceremony. I eventually completed the last 50 miles at about 10:30 am, arriving in the town with absolutely no idea where to find the Water Tribe, having only a list of four parking lots in my memory. Ok. I drove east until I had to go left or right. I went right. I drove a few blicks, and saw one of the named parking lots, pulled in and got the last space. Got out of my car and realized I know the woman walking towards me. She’s a member if my UU Church from Fort Myers, a member of the Water Tribe. Synchronicity!
She told me where to find the rest of the Water Tribe. I headed over to the Beach. As I reached the crest of the Dunes, I immediately began scanning the surf, to gauge the shape of the waves, and how they were breaking and running. I grew up going to the New Jersey Shore, and learned all about Rip Tides there. I was satisfied the current would be safe, and proceeded to the water’s edge.
I greeted my fellow Water Tribe, peeled off my mumu, put all my stuff in a pile, blew kisses to everyone, and strode into the Ocean.
The waves were running about 18 inches high, which is hardly worth jumping, but it’s better than the Gulf which is like the World’s Biggest bathtub. There, the waves are maybe 5 inches high. On the other hand, there was a fairly strong tow to the North, but not an undertow. I had to swim back to my mark on the beach, frequently.
Time slowed down, and I relaxed, and enjoyed the waves, the water, the sand under foot. I practiced my wave jumping form. I stretched my legs, I did slow spins, and corkscrew spins. These are all the things you would expect a Pisces Whale Person to do at the beach.
There were lots of people about, some seaweed here and there, but no bait fish. But all at once I knew I was not alone in the water. The Dragon had come. Or in this case, maybe two small dragons. It/they was to my right, and close to the sand. I stopped jumping the waves and stood still and LOOKED. I had removed my prescription sun glasses when I put everything down to go swimming, so I hoped I could figure out what this critter was, quickly. I wasn’t positive, but I thought I had a good idea…
(Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, it’s important to remain calm when you are in this kind of situation.)
I stood still and the critter did not advance. Good. I backed up about 5 feet, going parallel to the beach and the critter did not advance. Good. Then I turned to the beach and moved 5 feet in, toward the beach. The critter stayed put. EXCELLENT. By then, I calmly skipped out of the water, and LOOKED back to the surf. The critter was where I left it. Great.
I think it was a pair of large sting rays. No pictures of them. I’m glad I didn’t accidentally step on them!
Share your Peace with Mother Earth and Father Sky and the Big Waters all around us. Remember, when you are swimming in the Ocean, you are in someone’s living room.
(c) 2017 by Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path. All rights reserved