It was a typical summer day. Clear blue skies, parched earth, the slow whir of ceiling fans and relentless heat. Thankfully, we had taken a lease on a house with a swimming pool. Its cooling waters beckoned.
Deciding to take Jessica for a refreshing swim, I placed her in her float vest and ring for safety. Then after swimming several laps, I took her out of her float ring to encourage her to swim more independently. She swam with me down to the deep end with great enthusiasm.
As I reached the deep end of the pool I turned. Jessica’s little face was bobbing up out of the water. She needed something to cling onto. Telling her I was so proud of her, I encouraged her to swim towards me. By now I was treading water. Whisperings of the uneasiness I always felt in deep water stirred ever so silently. Ignoring the unease, I reached my arms towards Jessica, pulled her closer and tenderly cuddled her, allowing her to feel safe and supported.
In an instant, the entire pool and its surroundings disappeared. Instead of being in the afternoon sunlight enjoying a swim in my back- yard pool, I was struggling to keep my head above water in the middle of a vast dark ocean. About forty yards to my right, I could see a huge eighteenth century sailing ship sinking. The scene was overwhelming.
I experienced an overpowering urgency. I was not alone in that swirling sea—my young son was in my arms and I was desperately trying to save us both. The sailing ship that was to take us to my husband, already stationed in Africa, was disappearing before our eyes. Soon there was nothing but the ocean—the deep vast powerful ocean.
My young son had not wanted to leave England. Convincing him of the adventure awaiting us, I had assured him we were in safe hands during the long voyage. While he had been apprehensive, I had remained buoyant, with an open heart and strong faith, determined to embark upon this journey.
Exhausted by the relentless waves and cold water, my strength was slipping away, taking with it my will to survive. A wooden crate tied with rope bobbed before me. If I could just reach it, perhaps it could help us stay afloat? Other debris floated lifelessly by in the water. I struggled to hold my son’s face out of the black sea as it swirled around us. Then I noticed his eyes were closed, his body lifeless. My strength was fading fast.
Suddenly, my hand hit the edge of the pool. In an instant, my awareness was transported back to the present. Terrified, I pushed Jessica straight up out of the pool and onto the paving at its edge. Then without using the stairs, I heaved myself up out of the pool to the safety of dry land, staring with shock into the water.
Still stuck between two realities, I tried to comprehend this frightening experience, but couldn’t make any sense of it. I scooped Jessica up in my arms and held her close to my heart. What on earth had just happened? Where had I been? What the hell was happening to me?
The passage above is an excerpt from my book, There Are No Goodbyes,
(Hay House, 2017)