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;

But trust

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