Till taught by pain,
Men really know not what good water's worth;
If you had been in Turkey or in Spain,
Or with a famish'd boat's-crew had your berth,
Or in the desert heard the camel's bell,
You'd wish yourself where Truth is--in a well.
- Lord Byron-
I'm off work from now until Tuesday. I took a couple of much needed vacation days. Wish I could say I took them off for fun, but instead I took them off to heal. My sciatica has been acting up terribly, and walking on concrete really seems to agitate it. I've a long walk from the subway o my job, and although the walk itself has been a blessing by adding some much-needed exercise into my rather sedentary life, but, because the walk on hard concrete, right now it is not conducive to healing. Yesterday morning, I left my house practically pain-free, and by the time I was halfway to the subway, the pain was shooting from my back right down my leg. And, I'm not even going to mention the torture of climbing the subway stairs when I arrived in the city. I even had to call hubby to come pick me up for fear of not making it home. So, I will be staying in for a few days and using my heating pad, hopefully will help me to heal.
This is not my first bout with sciatica. I had it about 16 years ago, and that time it was so much worse. I couldn't walk a city block without hanging onto a pole or a parking meter, whatever was handy, the pain was so severe. Then, one day hubby talked me into going to the beach with him. Now, it wasn't that I haven't always 'loved' the ocean, but when one is in as much pain as I was in at the time, one doesn't want to go anywhere. Just sitting in the car on the ride to the beach was sheer torture, and all the way there, all I could think of was how miserable I was going to be lying on the beach. I could barely rise from a chair. How on earth was I going to get up from the ground?
I have sought the waters today; we have joined with their sap. O Agni full of moisture, come and flood me with splendour.
From the Waters of Life, A Hindu Prayer
But, that was before...before I stepped into the ocean, and the miracle occurred, because, by the time I had waded in to just above my waist, the pain that I had suffered with for months was gone. Oh, after I was out of the water for awhile, the pain did return, but left as soon as I went back in. Not only did Mother Ocean gift me with a short reprieve from pain, she set in motion what was the beginning of the end of that bout of sciatica. Within a week after that day, I was well on my way to a complete recovery.
"In every drop of water, there is a story of life."
-- Leena Arif--
Water has been here, a gift to us since the beginning of time. It is essential to life. In fact, it was the great Mother who birthed us. The sea was indeed like a mother when man himself was in his childhood. In numberless myths, it is a symbol of primordial chaos out of which life emerged. In Egyptian mythology the primeval ocean, the goddess Nun, gives birth to the sun-god Atum, who then creates the rest of the universe. Tiamat has a number of personifications in the myth and can be perceived as a shape-shifter–from ocean, to mother, to underworld river. The great African goddess, Yemaya, is the Goddess of the Ocean and the moon, guardian of women, childbirth, fertility, and witchcraft. Ran is a Scandinavian goddess of the ocean. Our ancestors understood her power, but unfortunately....
...many of us take her for granted today, never realizing her healing properties, nor honoring her sacredness. Life was born of the ocean, and to this day, the primal ocean is still circulating in us. It has been millions of years since the first animals ventured out of the oceans onto land, yet the same 56 elements course through our veins that circulate in the ocean. Ocean water contains many minerals needed by your body to help heal. The natural iodine in sea water is said to relieve arthritis pain. The natural ocean water massage is relaxing. The sound of the waves is so rhythmic, slow, and calming.
Unfortunately, it's a tad too cold now to take a dip, but there is always mineral salts and my bathtub. Add a few drops of my Holy Water from the healing Jordan river and a few long soaks, by Tuesday I hope to be as good as new...or, hopefully, well on my way.
Here within the half-light 'tween the night and day
Upon the sands I lie, with thoughts that idly stirr'd
Seem, as in a dream, with life and death to play,
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird.
In my heart I hear it, the murmur of the sea,
Ah! and memories of other lives are stirr'd,
As somewise there came a mystic voice to me
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird.
Who but knows that in me is a ghost that hears
A voice it heard of old in the primeval word —
A memory so dim, it like a dream appears
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird!