At Dhruvaloka I’ve been delving back into my ThoughtBooks to meet my younger self.

No, not the eighteen-year-old (I don’t have much paperwork – nor paperplay – left from that era, although I wish I did).

The me from 27 May 2000, eighteen years ago, who for some unremembered reason picks up a piece of paper printed with the words ‘My personal contract for healthy living’.

and after two hesitant, tentative blurts:

“stay here and keep watch with me” * (* a biblical line from Mark 14:34)

and “let the soul sing”

she sets out, in neater handwriting than I can muster nowadays, the following poem:


Sitting on the strand line

Sitting on the strand line.

The tide washes, washes the feet

The tide heals the feet. The sea gently scours the sand.

The water laps my ankles. I am safe, so safe.

The water rises gently and I am firm upon the firm sand.

The sun washes my shoulders.

My arms move out, and upwards, strong.

My face leans back to feel the sun.

The water laps, the tide scours.

The water may rise, but the sand is firm.

The water may scour, the sand may move away

But the tide will gently drop it back again.

The tide may wash away the sand,

and where I sit may no longer be there.

I am no longer there.

I cannot yet see, nor feel, how the water rose or whether it rose, or when.

The water and sand are one

And when the sun warms me,

I bend back, feel the sun on my closed lids

feel the sun on my outstretched arms.

I no longer sit: I stand, I dance,

I move and embrace.

I stretch out my arms

and with a slow and lovely grace

I move along the shore, dancing

singing my joy my praise my blessed joy


© Kathy McVittie 27 May 2000