90. All At Sea

One of the best things about the beautiful weather we’ve had in the UK is that we’ve been able to Plan Things. I mean, we do plan things in general, but there’s usually the need for contingency plans in case of bad weather. So, for instance, clothing for a sunny day out over here might initially involve t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops, sunglasses and water, but there’s a sub-text of thick jumper, waterproof, hat and possibly gloves because it might well change. It’s one of the joys of living between several weather patterns that can change at the drop of a hat, so you can imagine that when we get a period of settled weather it’s a bit of a shock; in fact, staying cool suddenly became a daily challenge rather than a rare novelty, and it was in the spirit of all this consistency that I finally went sea kayaking.

I’ve been building up to doing this for a while, but have been cautious following a bad experience way back in the Eighties (yes, DEEP trauma!), so there’s always been a “yes, but…” holding me back, the chief excuse of course being the weather. Well that one was neatly dispatched by the apparently never-ending blue skies, so with no excuses left I actually booked a session with Steven Malone of H2oadventures and finally became one of those people that I’d envied for so long, floating way out in the bay in the blazing sunshine.

Here’s the evidence:


It was stunning.

The only noise came from the paddle cutting through the waves, and when we got further out into the bay and I stopped paddling for a while there was silence. Just me and the sea and a very deep sense of peace. It was the perfect place to just sit and be with myself, and allow the thoughts that usually clamour for my attention to take a back seat for a change. It occurs to me now, that riding the waves out there (thankfully very small that day) is the same as riding the waves of our daily lives. Sometimes they’re big crashing ones that we fear will destroy us, but periodically we have a more settled time, even if it’s just for a few moments, when we can take stock and say, “This is just beautiful, and I’m so lucky to be here.” And I truly believe that it’s in those moments we get the chance to refuel and recharge so that we can carry on and face the scarier waves.

I’m now at the fifth anniversary of my own big scary waves, and I’m still working hard at seeing the beauty in every moment, because at one point there was a distinct possibility I wouldn’t have any more. So although it’s taken a while to get here, we’re now in a part of the world that is literally begging us to venture out and appreciate it, and we’re surrounded by fit folks who can help us do so. Not kidding you, the people here are seriously fit and healthy. The guy who lives up behind us is in his seventies and he walks down (and back up) several very steep hills to swim in the sea every day, and a high percentage of the runners we see around are older than you’d expect. There’s a “do it NOW” feeling here. Don’t let life pass you by. Grab it with both hands and get out there and allow nature to give you the deepest healing possible, because that’s what nature can do, if we would only allow it to.

So that’s what we’re doing. Thank you, Steven Malone, for a truly amazing introduction to the wonders of sea kayaking. I am totally hooked and I will be back.

Wishing you all good health,




About Margaret Cahill

After diagnosis of Mantle Cell Lymphoma in 2013, I started this blog to stay in touch with friends, family, and and an ever increasing network of lovely people who sent me healing. The readership increased and I ended up blogging for all I was worth to try and stay sane through the chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. Then after I went into remission (thankfully) I was enjoying the writing so much that I have carried on, and the blog seems to have become a bit of a resource for people, which is lovely. The original year of blogs have now been made into a book, Under Cover of Darkness: How I Blogged my Way Through Mantle Cell Lymphoma. It fills in a lot of the gaps between the blogs, and the tone falls somewhere between graveyard humour and explicit details of chemo treatments. I do hope you enjoy it :-) Mxx
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