You see a beautiful pond of water; it’s hot out, the sun is shining, you can feel its heat on your face, you are feeling happy. You slip your right sandal off so you can test the water with your toe. Balancing on your left foot you feel the silkiness of the warm water surround your foot as you dip it slowly in, until your entire foot is emerged. It’s exquisite, it’s delightful.
Then you stumble, just a little. Not sure of the depth of the pool you lean back on your left, you are cautious, pulling your foot back out. You peer down to see its depth, it’s shallow you think, the reflection of the sun sparkles along the surface, making it hard to see what lies beneath. Off comes the second sandal. You plunge your right foot back in immediately followed by the left.
Oh it is so nice, why hadn’t you ventured this way before you ask yourself?
Then you feel it, the softness on the soles of your feet, gentle, like sand. No not sand, softer than that, silt perhaps. You move your feet so you can feel what is under them. Soft and squishy, you can feel it seeping in between your toes. Its exciting, this feeling of the unknown at your feet, you move forward gently, still cautious, aware that there could be sharp stones or worse, broken glass lying hidden under the water. You move a bit further, you can feel the warm water lap against your calves.
Ouch, you feel a sharp piercing pain shoot up from your right foot, dam, you just stubbed your big toe against something sharp. You lift your foot up to inspect, balancing carefully on your left and give a healing rub where you see a tiny scratch. It’s okay, nothing serious. Memories of your Grandmothers words ring in your ears, ‘ah sure you’ll be better before your twice married’. After carefully placing your foot back in you bend over to have a closer look into the water, but you can see nothing through the muddiness of the water below the surface.
You move on again, taking your time. Always cautious of the unknown. A little deeper with each movement. You can feel the silt easing over your feet, the water just below your knees now. It’s still delightful. You are no longer thinking of the scratch you got earlier, it’s in the back of your mind.
The sun feels hotter now, the water feeling more refreshing. You could spend forever here it’s so peaceful. So relaxing, so safe, your new happy place perhaps? You keep moving on further, a little deeper with each slow step.
Ouch, you did it again! This time its more serious, you’ve stood on something sharp, this is more than just a tiny scratch, you try to lift your injured foot out but its seems to be stuck. You attempt to wriggle it free. The more you wriggle the more your feet seem to get stuck. Bloody mud; you try to pull one up at a time but you just seem to be making things worse. You try to move backwards, but that doesn’t seem to work. Your arms are out stretched at your sides, like a tight rope walker, trying to keep your balance.
There is no one around to help you either, you are alone. Your heart starts to beat a little faster as thoughts of getting stuck here forever enter your head, but you are not to panic you tell yourself, panicking will only make things worse. You get cross a little instead and with all your might you will your feet forward through the mud. You try again and again until both feet are no longer trapped by the suction of the mud and you are moving.
You have to turn around, you don’t want to go any deeper in this pond. You are deep enough; the bottom of your shorts already feel wet. The delightful feeling has all but gone. the sun has hidden itself behind a cloud and even the water feels a little cooler. The soft silt has been exchanged for cold ugly mud enveloping your feet and ankles. The injury you have yet to inspect is throbbing. But you dare not lift that foot up, you do not want to put all of your weight on the other foot and getting stuck again like a Wellington boot in a bog hole!
Getting out of this pond is a lot harder than getting in.
You are marching forward now with determination. You reach the edge and pull your muddy legs out of the water, collapsing to the grass with exhaustion. Now you can see the wound on the bottom of your foot, bleeding quietly, like it no longer wants to attract your attention after the fright you have just had. You wipe away the mud with some water, rubbing it gently, then holding it to stop its flow, you feel like a Lion licking its wounds.
It’s then you hear voices around you, you weren’t alone after all. If you had called out there would have been someone to hear you. But you never did, no, you stayed quiet, you struggled through the deep muddy waters alone.
Why didn’t you call out? What stopped you from looking for help. What made you think you were all alone when actually you weren’t?
Were you embarrassed? Did you think what you did was foolish? Maybe you should have gotten out of the pond the first time you got injured.
So many questions, and very little answers.
Maybe you should just focus on the fact you got out, regardless.
You are safe now, stay safe.