My last post (85 days: Faith) was inspired by Jellyfish.
That post was about Radiant Acquiescence, the practice of accepting all things with an open heart, as a gift from the Divine. Even (or especially) those things we do not like, want or understand.
I’ve been coming to Puerto Rico for five years now, and I always feel like I’m not fully here until I dive into the sea. That helps to clear and balance my energy, and THEN I feel fully present and connected to the island.
My flight got in last Tuesday evening, but I didn’t get to the beach until Wednesday eve. I don’t mind swimming at night. As a matter of fact, I’ve been doing it for most of my adult life. Yes, it can be a bit spooky swimming in the ocean at night, but I’ve never really had much of a problem with it, and it is wonderful to swim under the moon & stars.
The only concern I had was was that the last time I swam at night, during my previous trip to Puerto Rico, I got stung by a jellyfish, which was quite painful and frightening.
But that was such a rare occurrence that I did not worry too much about it. After a nice meditation on the beach, I waded into the smallish surf, then dove into the dark waters to cleanse myself of old energy and fears. Mt usual practice is to swim out about 100 feet to the buoy at the corner of the swimming area. I dive under the rope and sometimes float on my back, meditating under the stars, just outside the boundaries. The water is quite warm this time of year, so it is easy to luxuriate in the boyant salt water. when I am ready, I round the marker and swim leisurely back to shore.
This night, last Wednesday, I was swimming in, almost to shore, when I felt the searing pain in my right arm first, then the left. I knew I had run into a Jellyfish again, but at night, in the dark, nothing can be seen, so there is no way to know if you are getting away from the toxic tentacles or going into them further. As I already mentioned, it is very frightening, and painful. Fortunately, I was close to shore and somehow my torso avoided contact, so just my two arms were in intense pain. Breathing deeply, I made it back to shore, where I began to ponder my situation.
You like this pic? Me too. Imagine swimming into this bad boy at night. I’m happy to report that this is a Nomura Jellyfish from Japan, not found in the Caribbean. I just had to add it for shock value.
The spotted jellyfish below is much more common around Puerto Rico.
Turns out that Jellyfish stings are a lot like eating a hot chili pepper. It can burn like hell for a while, but eventually it will subside. Although chilis do not leave a red, blistering welt on your skin. But that too will pass – after about 24 hrs.
OK, there is a point to this creepy tale. That is that I have a strong belief and faith that there is a reason and a purpose for EVERYTHING that happens in my life. And that reason is always for the highest good. I had a hard time finding the good in being attacked by such a creature in the dark of night.
And yet I still believe.
So as I left the beach, I said a silent prayer of thanks to the sea, and the jellyfish, and to God. For a gift that I did not understand, but was certainly powerful.
To be continued…