8 June 2013


Source: worldoceannetwork.org

From the oceans clean and sparkling
Give me a drink
Take the edge off  life's rough handling
Give me a drink
Give me a drink, from nature's pure reserve
Of rivers of refreshing bliss
It’s amazing how nature soothes me and washes away the struggles I face daily. I always like to take a stroll on the beach each evening after work, alone with my thoughts. I sit on the beach and watch the waves of the sea gently rise and fall and I try to match my heartbeat with them. Sometimes the waves are calm, other times they are…roaring. This helps me understand that life is not always cool and calm. Just as I have learnt to appreciate the sea waves whether calm or otherwise, I have learnt to appreciate life and its processes.

I had just returned from work. I work as a cashier with Diamond bank and today was no different from yesterday as we tried to balance accounts for hours. Anyway, that's all behind me, it's time for my daily stroll and I need to unwind. As I stepped out my front door, I saw my neighbour Mrs. Bright--the mother of two, who is obviously having issues with her marriage. shhhhhh. . .  (whispers) I hear her argue with her husband every blessed day--get into her blue Toyota Camry car and drove off into the distance. As I walked to where my car was packed, Richard, the corper who lives two blocks away was stopping a bike man. I waved at him, got into my car, and made my way to Suntan Beach, which was just twenty minutes from my apartment.

With Westlife's 'what makes a man' playing in the background, my mind took a stroll to Tade, my boyfriend of two years who suddenly couldn't stand the sight of me anymore and images of what and who we used to be filled the plasma screen of my mind. A minute later, my erratic mind shot across the globe of my life to another plane of existence and thoughts of pressing family issues came up; I have to pay my little brother's school fee, I have to repair the leaking roof of my parents’ house and I have to pay my bills. An invisible hand reached out and grabbed something from that day--my boss making a pass at me and threatening to fire me--and knocked me full in the face with it. I sucked in a deep breath and concentrated on navigating the controls of my rickety car. I was now at the beach, so I found a place to park, left my worn-out flip flops in my car and made my way inside where the ocean lay magnificent and powerful before me.
Source: iwallscreen.com

Now walking on the beach and appreciating the sea spread before me, something caught my eye at the far end of the beach. I walked closer and pretended to be deep in thought. There she was... Mrs. Bright was seated in a crossed-legged position, with her head in her hands, rocking back and forth. I took a second look at her and decided to keep walking, I had my own issues to settle. As I made a move to keep walking, I felt a hand grab my left hand and I turned around. Mrs. Bright was on her feet, holding on to my hand like a vice. 'Stay Anike, please stay with me' she said with tears rolling down her cheeks. I took a look at her tear-stained face and nodded, then took a seat beside the spot where she was seating earlier.

As we sat together, starring at the sea, each one lost in thought, Richard walked by and noticed us. With drooping shoulders like someone carrying the weight of the World, he raised a hand in greeting and said, 'can I sit with you?' 'Please?' he added as an afterthought. I looked at Mrs. Bright and she wordlessly motioned him to a spot beside her. There we all sat, lost at sea. After fifteen minutes, I got up, walked to the edge of the beach, scooped up some water in my hands to wash my face and splashed some on my hands and legs and I immediately felt better. I motioned to my 'partners in misery' to do the same. After a couple of minutes, I turned to Richards and asked ' why are you here?' he smiled and said, ' the same reason you are and she is, to drink and be refreshed by the healing powers of nature.' 'Oceans, seas and people... they’ve all got a special place in my heart' Mrs. Bright added. We all smiled.

June 8 is a day recognized by the United Nations to create awareness about the important role oceans play in our food security, health and climate, and survival in general and to call attention to human activities which are diminishing the productive effects of oceans and sea amongst others. On this day, 6paragraphs chooses to call awareness to the place of nature and its refreshing powers amidst others in human existence. We believe that no matter how down one is, whatever the challenges, a stroll and the appreciation of nature; oceans, trees, landscape etc., will bring a refreshing and help clear the head to find solutions to the issues churning around in the human mind.

By: Mary Ajayi
6paragraphs For World Oceans Day 2013
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