Dear Ocean (letter from a parent)

Dear Ocean,

Whilst children are preparing for Back To School,

I am bringing my daughter to you.

That’s her …

In the red and grey wetsuit.

Yes. That’s my beloved girl you are smashing with your foam,

Whose hair you are ripping, eyes you are stinging and cheeks you are reddening.

Ocean, I am writing to ask you

If you’ll teach her.

Will you take her on, under your wing and wave?

Will you please embrace her,

Spit her out,

Pull her back?

Teach her with the tenderness and rough,

The stillness and the silt burn,

That only you can?

Dear Ocean.

From parent to parent,

From mother to mother,

Please show her the truth of who she is.

Show her the strength she wields.

Show her the boundless resources of perseverance in her decade and three year old depths.

You have my permission, dear Ocean,

to smash her (a bit),

to exhaust her (a lot),

to push her (gently),

to bruise her (occasionally),

to strengthen her (daily),

to help her fall in love with herself, with Life and with the rhythm of life’s ebb.

And flow.

Dear Ocean,

Keep showing her, showing her, showing her.

Because I have such dreams for this girl.

Not dreams for her life for that’s her job to dream,

but dreams of how much she’ll discover beneath her surface.

I dream of resilience, strength, fortitude;

I dream of focus, daring and an intuitive understanding of when to paddle and when to steam forth;

I dream that she’ll catch incredible opportunities because she’ll know where to wait for them.

And sometimes she’ll stand and sometimes she’ll fall.

I dream of her laughing.

Life’s waves, in their playfulness, naughtily slapping her

And her laughing back because she is robust.

Falling off the wave.

Getting on board again.

Falling off …

Dear Ocean,

With your strong steely arms around our island,

Please take my daughter under your unpredictable wing and teach her your dance.

Teach her how to tumble,

get up,

wade back out,

again and again and again until her muscles are strong

and her mind is resilient

and her heart exhilarated with riding your waves.

Learning, learning, learning …

And in between the joy and lovely chaos of living,

eventually she’ll come sprawling onto the shore.

Here a towel and a rub and smiles and a little fire with sausages cooking will be waiting.

And when she’s ready,

dear Ocean,

When she’s completely done with playing in the sea,

She can peel off her wetsuit, dry her face

And together we can climb back the steps.

And I know she’ll have the best education for living that a parent could ask for.

Thank you, dear Ocean.

Thank you. xxx

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