Thursday, January 5, 2012

not waving, drowning

One of the most powerful words in the world is this


It means water rising up and up, over your face, over your head, completely engulfing you. Total defeat. No escape.


Today, at the pool, I watched my brave little Princess, in the Big Pool. She was sinking to the bottom and rising to the top, right next to the ladder. And then somehow she kicked away from the ladder and when she rose to the top she couldn't reach safety.

She sank and fought her way back up and I could see panic in her eyes. "Help me!" she gasped, just as I reached out and grabbed her hand.
I got her out of the pool and hugged her, and I asked her if she was frightened and she said "Yes!" and I said, "You need to get back in. You need to go again, so you're not scared tomorrow."
And she did.
Into the deep water, way over her head. And back up. Knowing that Mum was there if she got into trouble.


Many times in my life, I've felt overwhelmed. I've felt like there was no-one near to help me, no-one to pick me up if I took a risk.

"not waving but drowning
Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.
Stevie Smith"


But there are hands reaching for me now. I am safe. I am waving.


  1. Powerful Toni. Beautifully written.

  2. I'm glad you are feeling the safety of helping hands.
    Nothing is so overwhelming that it can't be overccome.

  3. This makes me smile. I'm glad you have someone to reach out to you when you need it.

    Sometimes the tricky part is letting them.

    Your little Princess was very brave indeed :)

  4. We all need people around us who have themselves anchored to firm ground and hand to extend ...
    Great writing Toni.
    Hope you are well.


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