As the sun peeks happily through the blinds and a soft breeze occasionally dances across the room I can't help but notice what a perfect day it is to write this particular blog. The birds are chirping for what seems like the first time in my stay here and as I close my eyes I can almost hear the memories of waves lapping at the shores of beaches back home and the sounds of laughter rippling the air.
I'm not quite sure how this memory was sparked, considering the rain thats been dampening everyones moods for the last three days, but yesterday, as I was sitting on the bus, it came to me. Maybe because I was intent on thinking of happier, sunnier days (an odd thing for a girl who is known to prefer the cold) I was thinking of holidays, of times with family.
I take you back to one particular holiday, again my exact age escapes me, but I was young enough (when looking back at my holiday journal) to not have been able to spell when or where... not that certain words to this day don't give me grief.. but I digress. Mum had taken us to Malta along with my Nanny and Aunty Mary to visit my Nanny's sister Chica. Malta, for those playing at home, is a small beautiful island in the Mediterranean, where they sleep in the afternoons to avoid the sun and children play on the street at night. An island known for their delicate lace, intriguing catacombs and lagoons so blue they seem unnatural.
Notorious for being adventurous (a fact that got us into trouble more than once) Mum, Alex and I had decided to explore the rockpools at one of the nearby cliffs. Mum, trusting us to be sensible, had settled herself in a sunny spot with a rock appropriately shaped for support and a good book. Alex and I were left to continue exploring... we walked far enough away for mum to see us, but not be able to tell what we were doing and upon seeing a pool too deep to see the bottom I donned my goggles, striped to my cozies and jumped in. The water was freezing and as I submerged myself deeper the sound of waves crashing onto rocks nearby became a distant thud... I continued on noticing with delight the world around me changing. I could see small movements in the corner of my eye and the hole above me getting smaller, my lungs became tight and my ears sore with pressure but I pushed myself further and just when I couldn't hold my breath any more I saw it. A small glint at the bottom of the pebble strewn floor. My lungs now however screamed for air so as quickly as I could I pulled at the water above me and kicking fast broke the surface of the water as dramatically as Ariel after getting her legs.
I described to Alex with enthusiasm what I saw. It was a nose! Now before you turn away in horror, I don't mean I saw a human nose freshly severed from someone's face, I had instead seen a rock shaped like a nose which at 7 or 8 is just as intriguing. With the encouragement of my sister I spent the next hour diving for the rock, but each time my lungs would fail me before i got there. By this stage mum, who was now extremely tanned and had lost interest in her novel had wondered over to let us know it was time to go. I explained my plight and she agreed to let me try three more times... The pressure was on. The first time I dove I had to find the rock again so there was no hope of grabbing it. The second I had coughed before taking a breath and didn't have near enough air to make it.
My last time. Hands shaking with determination and treading water I breathed out all the air in my lungs until my breath was only a raspy sigh, then, breathing in every last drop of air I could I dove down. My eyes searched everywhere for my treasure - I spotted it. I stretched out my arm so far it felt like it would pop out of its socket and kicked as hard as I could. I could feel my chest aching with exhaustion and my head getting light.
I pushed myself further. What seemed like an eternity later I felt my fingers close around a cold hard object, but now, too tired to even check, I turned around and pushed as hard I could off the floor. my whole body began to shudder as I swam upwards and I could see mums worried face rippling on the surface... just one more meter. Before I could stop myself my mouth opened as if my brain was forcing it to take in air.. not yet... water began to pour in my mouth and my legs felt like lead, but just as I felt the world start to spin I broke the surface, spluttering, coughing and desperately sucking down the sweet salty air around me.
Mum and Alex helped me out and I lay on the warm rocks breathing hard and fast. For a moment I forgot about the nose, then, realising I was holding something hard in my hand I looked down to see with pride that there was my nose rock, shinning with glory in the afternoon sun.
To this day I don't think mum understands my determination for acquiring something that unless arrested with imagination looks simply like a rock. I still have it though, and as I think about it now, it wasn't the rock itself that was significant, it was really the act of setting my mind to something and achieving it. A philosophy I try to live by to this day.
As always I'd love LOVE to hear about your stories - maybe you have a rockpool story this brought back or a time when you've set your mind to something and achieved it?
(if you'd prefer to be anonymous send it to my email address firstname.lastname@example.org)
Have a great weekend everyone ^_^