I just returned from spending a week aboard a catamaran, sailing around the Solomon Islands. My husband and I call it ‘work’. He was photographing his next underwater series and I was his assistant, obviously.
When I was in the corporate world, I used to take at least a week to wind down and forge my way into holiday-mode. These days I slot right in. I think my mental capacity flat-lined before the aircraft wheels folded back inside the plane.
It was the fourth night on board, lying on the catamaran trampoline watching shooting stars fly across a twinkling mess in the darkness, that I did a mental stock take of why I was there.
They say “no rain, no flowers”. I had experienced rain. I had quietly endured internal storms that brought floods and hail, soaking my existence and denting my womanhood. I knew rain.
My study of human behaviour has kept me a keen observer of people’s reactions to their own rain. The literal understanding that flowers need rain is easily embraced, but as an analogy for life, the concept is often shunned.
Here I was, after rearranging my life, creating time to dedicate to a family, finding that I have instead birthed a whole new life for myself.
In my upgraded version of life, I provide mentoring for what is turning out to be a niche in family dynamics – trouble with boyfriends, mothers, ex-husbands, wives, etc. The irony doesn’t escape me that I’m working mostly within family circles. I also speak with groups about life’s challenges being stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks and specifically how to wrap your thinking around this when you’re smack in the middle of nursing pain. I speak with sales teams about the way our heads work - essentially explaining The Melon Programmer and how to rewire your subconscious to achieve goals. Then I still oversee my husband’s business and, when he twists my arm, help on photography shoots at locations like the Solomon Islands.
This is not a life that I could have or would have planned, mostly because I was aiming for a completely different reality. Yet, here I am with a freedom to travel at will and an access to motherhood in my mentoring sessions that casually fits in around our travels. I find myself in a life that is paved by flowers that grew with the rain.
With the fourth shooting star skimming across the sky, I exhaled with surrender and with appreciation. Both my heart and my eyes are wide open these days as I live a life that is unfolding before me with each step I take. I am acutely aware of the flowers underfoot and the rain that fell to build this foundation.
And I know it will rain again. It may sprinkle or it may storm, but either way I know it’s just watering my flowers.
Image by Joel Coleman Photography