Swimming @ Seventy

Today on the beach
An older couple caught my eye.
About seventy,
She had a full costume on that
Perfectly suited her athletic, petite frame,
Her stylish grey bob dancing in the wind.
He was in boardshorts and Billabong rash vest, still handsome in his years.
They held hands as they walked into the sea,
And when they were midwaist in the water,
She dived under a wave and playfully splashed his face,
He jumped over the waves and in the lull between sets, floated on his back.
When they were done, they walked out hand in hand and reaching their bag, he wrapped a towel around her.
I was mesmerized and thought, here is love.
I imagined a journey shared, a home built, tribulations and trials, loss, celebrations, life.
And here they were, still standing, still swimming, still together.
And I thought if surfer and I are blessed to live that long, I want to swim in the sea with him every single day until death breaks us apart.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016


To the redhead on the beach,

today while lounging on the beach I spotted you. You, a beautiful redhead and your muscular partner walking side by side along the water. It could have been a beautiful photo. Both of you were dressed for a date, he in a neatly buttoned shirt and three quarter pants, you in a gorgeous flowing white dress. Except, you were clearly in the midst of a heated argument. You were gesticulating wildly as you walked, he would just nod and stare into the distance. You walked out of sight, a good few metres and a while later returned to my view. By this time his shoulders were stooped. I saw him try to counter, but you immediately interjected and gesticulated again and marched on. My husband calls this raging. It neatly describes when a woman goes off ranting about the inadequacies of her man. She is raging him. She is raging him up and down the length of the beach.
(As a side note: according to my husband men shut down when they are raged. They enter a selective hearing mode, pretending to listen, but only picking up the necessary bits to make you believe they are listening and intent on being what you want them to be.)

It made me think back to my younger self, the one who did not know that you can never change someone fundamentally. The one who naively believed love could transform him into what you want him to be, believe he should be. He may fake it for you for a while, but it is a mask that will always wear off. Best to focus on his good traits and decide if you can live with the rest. He might not be as romantic as you like, but he may be a good provider, have a great sense of humour, be fun to be with, great in bed. The second thing I wish I had learned sooner: pick your battles. You may feel like winning every battle, the one where he doesn’t take out the bin, always lies on the couch watching series, never remembers to unlock the gate for the garden service, etc, etc, etc, but you will lose the war. I myself often rage in circles, believing if I repeat the same raging from different angles, I was winning on all fronts! The harsh reality is that either you will destroy his sense of manhood to such a degree that he just becomes completely complacent in your relationship, and one day you will leave, blaming him for no longer having any backbone or purpose. Or the blonde secretary at work who wears a mini just above the acceptable office threshold, has fake nails, boobs and extensions down to her knees, who thinks he is the best accountant in the office, will have him enamoured and soon falling for her charms. Or some psycho will notice you in the gym and you will fall for his offer of friendship, buy a new Lorna Jane exercise wardrobe, become a regular 6 am gym bunny, only to become a lapdog to his compliments and believe you have found your soul mate. The second option is particularly foolish.

So dear redhead on the beach, if he is not offering enough for your liking, and every battle is a war, set him free and move on. You will save him and yourself a lot of heartache and regret.

You both deserve to walk hand in hand on the beach with the waves lapping at your ankles and the wind platting your hair.

Copyright Hiraeth 2015

Pots and Lids

When I was ten I read a book of short stories for teenagers. Entitled “Every pot has a lid,” it spoke against pre-marital sex and how you should wait to find your perfect fit, how there was someone meant just for you. It is a notion that deeply resonated with me, to the extent that I believed I had found my lid at fifteen and held on to it anxiously, even despite it clearly not sealing the edges of the so-called pot. In my twenties it took the shape of believing in soul mates, so much so that I once put everything on the line pursuing what I believed was destiny. This lid, here, at all costs, is a very dangerous belief. What I have learnt through many tears and trials is that no lid fits perfectly, what makes a lid and pot fit well and weather life is the will to mould, to expand, to shrink, to move.

And I think it helps if every now and then you look at your lid and think how damn sexy its curves are.

Copyright Hiraeth 2015