In the distance a lone swimmer
Gliding effortlessly through the China Sea
At one with the ocean, an oriental mermaid
Relaxed, confident, at ease.
The rhythm of her arms carries her forward,
Left, then right; left, then right,
Hardly a splash, barely a ripple
Gracefully moving on her way.
Suddenly she stops and flips over on her back
And comes to rest,
Head leaning back, legs outstretched, body still,
Suspended, held by the ocean’s strength
Bobbing and swaying in the gentle waves
Buoyant like a cork, floating on the ocean’s skin.
No frantic flaying of her arms to stay afloat,
No desperate kicking of her legs to keep from drowning;
That she is held and will not sink.
And what of me, dear Lord,
A swimmer in the ocean of your love,
Afloat upon a sea of grace, immense
In length, and breadth, and depth?
Dare I relax in you, and know that I am held?
Give up my frenzied efforts to achieve, to please,
To stay afloat myself?
Lay back my head, find rest at last,
And trust myself to you?
Tony Horsfall October 2012, retreat at Nongsa Point, Batam Island, Indonesia