• Caitlin Keely Gemmell

Floating in water

I wouldn’t say I’ve been adrift these past few months, more like I’ve been floating in water. Sometimes I allow the currents to sweep me away; at other times I move ahead, little by little, stroke by stroke. A selkie whose sealskin has been missing for so long that it doesn’t quite fit anymore, but feels like home nonetheless.

Watching my garden grow. Visits from Goldfinch. The magic that manifests as thousands of words written in one day on those rare occasions when the muse blesses me with a visit. The satisfaction of bringing my manuscript closer to what I envision. Fingertips reach away from getting it published. Listening to classical music and feeling my spirit soar. Coming close to actually booking a flight home to England, and knowing it is finally possible. Receiving a letter from one of my dearest friends in England. The relief that he and his daughter and ex-wife are all fine. Discovering through a DNA test that I definitely take after my Nan’s English side of the family — that England is in fact the place I can rightfully call home — plus learning of my Swedish heritage and wondering what those far distant ancestors were like and how I can feel closer to them. The panic that threatens to choke me every time I have to listen to one more conspiracy theory. Worry about my son’s illness after traveling in places where people aren’t careful. Hoping the benefit to his emotional health outweighs the damage to his physical health. The emotions I felt on the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Re-gaining memories of my grandmother beside the sea, in the same place where I learned to walk. Seeing her face so clearly. Her red jewelry. Her bright smile. Her beauty, even as she suffered great pain.

This is life. This is what has been occupying my time. This and so much more. We are soulful beings who deserve magic. We deserve to feel, to experience, to learn. I am so close to realizing my dream of becoming the author of a novel, but I’m still treading water. I’m still listening to Crow’s songs. Still dreaming Seal’s dreams. Still spirit walking in the New Forest even as my body remains behind in the waiting room. The place that was supposed to be temporary. The place that will never be home, but can still be a place of magic and possibilities. A place where I can weave my magic and realize a long yearned for dream. This pond will eventually float me back to the sea.



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