Let Me Hold You

Let Me Hold You

by Elaine


I sit to meditate on the sandbank of Windjana Gorge.


I can only respond and lie back on my salmon sarong


Following instructions I turn wondering why?

Nestling into the soft undulations of the cool, velvet sand , closing my eyes.


I let go and sigh out deeply , deeper into the sensation of my heart opening, Waves ripple over me


I drape into the ground, aware of my body as a landscape, the slump of my soft beasts, the slack tummy muscles , the gentle curve of my side scape cradling my left arm, my hand resting out on my hip.

My thoughts drift to the Sleeping Beauty Mountain on the Isle of Lewis. Her shape silhouetted behind soft clouds. The sense of slumber, utterly soft, responding to the touch of mother. An ant traces its path over the bridge of my brow, steadily moving along.

My thoughts drift back to Jill Smith, walking the landscape, sleeping in the crooks and caves of her beloved mountain. Jill and the ant tracing similar trails.

The ant brings me back and I crush it between my fingers.

I settle once more into awareness. I feel the dapple of sunlight stroking my face, I am transported toDylan’s ancestral cave and the action of stroking the Rain God who speaks with thunder and lightning.

The softest breeze caresses the skin on my face and flutters my wrap…..I feel cradled in the bosom of my Mother.

Bridget calls quietly to finish,……………..I could lie longer and restore my well?

I walk as a child through the womb passage of the gorge wall and up the hill. Averting my gaze from a line-up of curious tourists. The last man stands aside and bows his head.

A gentle shadow of me plays out on the ochre pathway. I observe it with a soft gaze. Flowing shapes of cloth and skirt move rhythmically to step fall. Small rounded shoulders relaxed, light movements of flapping fabrics playing in the breeze.

I stand silent, waiting for John to change the gas bottle for the breakfast of scrambled eggs. He smiles down on me and whispers” ”Did you have a good meditation? You seem very Zen.”

I nodded and smiled back to him.

My Mother’s Hands

My Mother’s Hands

by Elaine

My Mother’s hands were always busy. She was earthy; my mother, her hands often covered in soil, planting , weeding, digging. Her hands following her well thought plans, shaping her ideas with flowers and garden beds. The salt laden winds by the beach were a constant challenge. The hot dry westerlies would burn leaves and cook the hydrangeas. Quickly her hands would get to work, hosing, shifting sprinklers, assessing the growing conditions.

One day when I was five, my mother’s hands were busy at the sewing machine on the side veranda. She was making, adjusting or mending. I can still hear the comforting sound of the Singer as I played just outside on the doorstep close by.  My own hands were picking fleshy leaves from the radiant sun jewels. Slowly I was drawing wet outlines on the hot cement pathway, I watched fascinated as the lines evaporated and vanished in the heat.

My mother’s hands were strong. She loved to beat the cake mix by hand, roll out biscuits, and carefully construct the fine slices of ginger into a frangipani pattern on top of lemon icing.

Together we would string beans, in preparation for an evening meal. Top and tail, then push the beans thru a metal instrument which transformed the robust freshly picked bean into thin green wobbly strips. For me these were companionable moments on a busy day, often an escape from homework. Much later after she had died, I heard it reported her saying “stringing beans helps to grow patience. Some of the best times we had were preparing vegetables for dinner. “

My mother’s hands held instructions, guidance of sorts. I felt she held me back many times. I understand a little more now how much she struggled to contain my triple fire intensity. I wasn’t an easy child, she said.

My Favourite Rocks

My Favourite Rocks

by Elaine

From a young age I was allowed to play in the bar alone. It was judged a safe swimming area, protected by a sea wall jetty on the left, a strong rope covered with floating buoys on the far right in case of rips, and a low reef out to sea which stopped large pounding waves. Three big rocks became my play mates.

First was BIGGIE. A humped shaped rock, like a whale with easy footholds; closest to the sand. I always climbed from back to front, easily scampering along the nooks and crevices with my bare feet .My feet were familiar and certain with the footholds, the grainy texture and the support. What a joy at high tide to perch right on the edge of BIGGIE and leap into the slow moving swell, always assessing and judging the most perfect time!!

Next was FLATTY, further out and on from biggie. I had to swim out and often couldn’t touch the bottom. Flatty was smooth with silky seaweed and rested mostly underwater. The surge of waves made it difficult to get on and stay on. It was hilarious fun , slipping, sliding and holding firm under the pressure of the swirling currents. Always testing my strength and ability to balance.

Third was ARMCHAIR by far the most difficult and challenging rock. It lay further out again ; closer to the reef and covered in sharp barnacles and brown weed. I had to plan my assault; best to approach from the side of the sea and allow the current to wash me onto the rock. It was very hard to climb onto the seat and gain a finger and toe hold. However once on top of the thin back of the chair I would give an almighty leap. Scared and thrilled; often worried I would be backwashed onto the barnacles.

One truly magical day, sun filled with pristine turquoise water, I set my self a challenge to swim underwater from Flatty to the rope buoys right across the width of the bar. It was a long way for a nine year old. Each effort I would leave a stone as my marker on the sandy seabed .With each effort I got a little bit further, holding my breath longer and longer, pulling strongly underwater breaststroke. How I remember the pleasure and satisfaction of trying over and over. I never got whole way.

The buoys on the rope were always fun to share with a friend. We would mount the rectangular slightly slimy floats like a horsy and rock them back and forth; sometimes they would spin sideways and we would tumble into the water screaming and shouting really loudly.

When I turned ten years old and double numbers I was then allowed to swim in the big surf on my own. So I ventured further beyond the breaking reef , testing my water skills on surfoplanes and the sandbanks of Bar Beach. Throughout my teen age years I often returned to the safe bar and sometimes introduced my rock friends to whoever might be interested. I loved to share them.