Walking on Water

As some of you may know, I am currently in Australia with my family on a ‘working sabbatical’. One of many benefits of this is that it gives me time to get back into some sort of decent health and wellness regime, and so I have been out running most days.

Today I was running along by the water (to rub it in, it was about 28 degrees with a bright blue sky). We are staying on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, so the water I was running by was the edge of the Pacific Ocean. I could see an island in the distance and the water was calm. It was a typical seaside scene…water, boats, buoys etc. After a few kilometres, I stopped, a bit stunned. I saw what looked like a man walking in the middle of the water with an old English sheep dog. Were my eyes playing tricks? You can’t walk your dog in the middle of expanse of water….actually, come to think of it, you can’t walk in water at all. But my momentary naïve amazement was replaced with a logical explanation - there was a sand bar just underneath the surface of the water, and he walking along that up to about his knees. Even so, it was an amazing site. The sand bar was virtually invisible, so it was just a man and his dog, running across an expanse of open water.

While I stood and watched them, a wonderful metaphor popped into my mind (perhaps also stimulated by a truly thought provoking recording on the nature of innate well-being I was listening to on my iPod) - we often don’t see the foundation, or resource, that supports us. But although we may not notice it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. This inspired me to give it a go, to literally walk my talk. It looked amazing and I thought ‘I want to be there’. I soon realised I didn’t really know how to get there - and that I had just bought an expensive new pair of running shoes and didn’t want to ruin them, so maybe next time?

No. I changed my mind, and wanted to go for it. So I took my shoes off, went exploring and soon found my way out to the sand bank. I had to trust myself that it was okay – that I wasn’t going to suddenly fall off a ledge and descend into the murky depths of the Pacific (actually, given I can swim this may have been a bit dramatic. The worst likely scenario would have involved wet shoes and damp iPod) but my thoughts didn’t always know that. And really, it was a simple as walking. Quickly my thoughts about anything else disappeared, and it was warm, peaceful and inspiring. And what was even better is that it continued with me when I got back to shore, as I realised it was not my environment or the activity that had created that feeling of peace and well-being. It was the absence of thought I had connected back to something true, 'behind' thought.

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