I am writing this post script on the night flight from Philadelphia to London, January 2nd-3rd, 2012. Americans call this flight the 'red-eye', for obvious reasons.
Elliott and Brendan are already fast asleep, curled up in their seats. I can't see Quinn from where I am seated, we are all spread out.
Before home life overwhelms me and re-absorbs me - inevitably - I want to reflect on this trip and what I take home from "Sailing in the Bahamas".
This trip has reminded me of what it is to be a human being: to lie on deck, sandwiched between Ocean and Milky Way.... Minute, yet opening to the immensity of the cosmos and giving it all a place inside me...
I have had time to catch up on sleep and to dream beautiful futures.
I have had time to weave golden webs of healing and prayer around those who have asked for this and the inspiration to write new prayers.
I have had the chance to dance with the stars and look in the Mirror of Life.
I was exhausted, shattered, when we boarded the outbound plane. Once again I had become a human DOING rather than a human BEING. It is the way of Mothers all over the world, I believe.
I admit that I allowed client work to engulf me and run away with me Autumn 2011 - I learned LOTS and attracting such an abundance of work means I am good at what I do! - but the time has come to set limits on time and energy spent on individual cases and on after care too.
I have realised all over again (but I know this anyway!) what a beautiful family I have. It has been a pleasure to observe all my boys (husband included!) more closely. Quinn (11)'s effortless charm, ease and self-confidence, wherever he finds himself in the world.... Enviable! Our Human Dictionary Elliott (10, Quinn calls him Big Brain!) so eager to learn and read and write... Author, professor, poet in the making.... Brendan (7) still remembers how to talk to animals and the stars.... Building Spirit Cities on every beach.... And asking BIG questions about Creation and The Universe. (Did God create human beings because he got bored one day?)
Then Ulric (will not mention his age to avoid 'domestic violence'!) ... won't he need a HOLIDAY to recover from this holiday???! Wonderful to see him unglued from his mobile phone (one day skin will cover it and it really will become a body part, ugh!)... Playing with the children.... Taking them on dinghy adventures in everyday reality while Mum dreams and journeys in other realms....
I have watched the sunset every day.... I learned when to expect the Moon to appear in the sky, growing a little thinner - then fatter every night, and retreating altogether for three days. I will miss that in London: this Intimacy with the Cosmos... this on-going Dance With All That Is...
I have missed my cello madly and played in my sleep. I have yearned for my paintings and studio time - this goes without saying.
The Bahamas are beautiful and the people there extremely friendly and welcoming. During Junkanoo in Nassau two elderly ladies (both wearing hats suitable for church!) said to me in the street: "We are so glad that you came to the Bahamas to experience Junkanoo... We hope that you will enjoy our beautiful islands and come again, GOD BLESS!" I don't give Japanese (or ANY) tourists walking around London with their cameras such a welcome, in truth!
I am grateful for time away and time to reflect. I return with a new set of dreams and priorities and some fabulous photographs for the Almqvist Collection... of three beautiful boys growing older and wiser (more handsome and eccentric) by the day! As for myself? I just grow... ever more grateful to be alive!
We welcomed the magical year 2012 in the closest place Planet Earth offers to Paradise: pristine... a reminder of what our Emerald & Turquoise Planet should be, from Pole to Pole. Let's hold that vision and make it reality!
Typing this up at Home Sweet Home: and now we are all going to go downstairs and listen to Quinn's first performance on his new electric guitar! THE ALMQVISTS ROCK!!! : )
By Imelda Almqvist
01/02/2012, In the air
Monday 2 January 2012
There was one really good blog title I had not used yet: SWEET ANGELS. This is what the waitress at Jaxson's called our boys a few weeks ago. She says that they are extremely well-behaved and 'we don't often see that in here, the American kids behave like wild animals'.
Two flights down and two to go.... Brendan keeps telling me very optimistically that we are halfway now because 'we have done two flights out of four' today, but those were local flights on Bahamas Air and we still need to do Miami - Philadelphia, Philadelphia - London. That is many hours of flying ahead of us.
I wish boats were like hotel rooms: walk out, check out. IF ONLY!
Leaving Queenie is STRESS FULL (double l intended).
Our neighbour was having a ciggie on deck. I admired his tattoos, then managed to foist all groceries on him, (the perishables like butter and cheese etc) TICK!
Then another guy appeared. Practically broke in to the big motor cruiser Bellissimo. Those cruisers must be fast asleep or not there at all - I observed, walking the lemniscate on a jetty. However, turns out it was Ulric this guy was looking for. He can't be much good at reading boat names, confusing a yacht and motorboat....Mmm... Apparently he is our next boat repair person. Another saga starts.... TICK!
I took Brendan for a walk as we will have many hours of sitting on airplanes. Suddenly Quinn and Elliott were out walking too, with a tray of reindeer cakes. Stored in the oven and very nearly forgotten... Fancy the smells in three months' time! The boys had their feast.
The taxi arrived late. I went to reception to chase it. Extracting Ulric from the boat took even longer - always the hardest job on the list. TICK! However, the REAL problems started at the airport.
The lady on check in desk was asked to verify our visa status for entering the USA. This threw her. She misspelled Belfast (where Ulric's visa was issued) and a long LONG line built behind us as she got nowhere at all. In the end she handwrote us boarding passes, making a point of not allocating us seats and not guaranteeing us a place on the flight. (Five places we had paid full price for, obviously!)
I admit that I made some sarcastic comments. I even admitted to Quinn that I felt some "anger management issues"! However, Quinn said, very matter of factly, "No Mum, that is mood swings! You never hit anyone and I have never seen you strangle anyone either!"
So that is OK then?!
Right... flight to Philly is leaving in 45 minutes. Ulric might pop to the business lounge and post one more blog. This blog is not uplifting and not interesting either, but it is a good excuse to post that picture of the bird that befriended us at the Warwick Cay islands!
By Imelda Almqvist
01/01/2012, Emerald Bay Marina, George Town, Great Exuma, Bahamas
Quinn and Elliott Sea Kayaking in Exuma Park
Sunday 1 January 2012
It is here, the magical year 2012!
Last night Ulric and I danced on deck and wished on a shooting star (narrowly missing Orion - or maybe The Great Hunter was the one who shot the star at us?!)
HAVE A MAGICAL 2012 EVERYONE!!!
Or to quote from a shop front in Nassau: UNWRAP THE MAGIC!
(It is all around us...)
From Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, THE BAHAMAS
Ulric, Imelda, Quinn, Elliott & Brendan Almqvist
SAND CASTLES AND SPIRIT CITIES
Brendan builds sand castles
On every beach
Some are villages
And some are cities
When he leaves
The tide comes in
And sweeps his creations away
Does not bother Brendan
The tide sweeps
My Spirit Cities
to the bottom of the ocean
Where spirits move in
Walk up the steps
Look out of the windows
Some fishes too
And 8 dolphins
These cities live on
In Brendan's imagination
He visits them in his dreams
He keeps up with the news
And builds more sand castles
On every beach we visit
What happens in the knot?
Do the paths cross
Between Sun and Moon
Light and darkness
Myself and others
The Vulcan and the Lake
Between what I know
And what I'd rather not know
Nibbling on a lemon biscuit
I ponder the Lemniscate
My birthright - he Dance of Infinite Flight
Having said that
I really want to know...
What happens in the not?
Do the paths cross
THE BEE HOUSE
High up on the cliffs
Somewhere in the Exuma Islands
A blue hexagonal house
The Moon lives inside that house
And outside too
But inside the Bee House
It is always Full Moon
The people in the Bee House
Wave at passing boats
And we wave back
As we go for anchor
The Bee House disappears
No longer a pale blue hex
Just a velvety void simmering above the rocks
A gap in the Milky Way
A Crescent Moon
Gives birth to a thousand sparks
Dancing on water
On a spinning Earth
Humming birds, bees, humming birth
Where have the Bee People gone?
Asks my husband, concerned until he sees
The Bonfire on the Beach
So this is how the Bee people celebrate New Year's Eve
We too gather around our fire:
The oil lamp in the cockpit and fluorescence in the water
We wish on a shooting star
2012 is here!
The Winds of Change arrive
And rock our boat (quite literally!)
A bright orange half Moon
Chooses that moment
To drop within reach
The stars are our fireworks
One Shooting Star
Carries our wishes for 2012
The hexagonal Bee House
On the cliff top
Swings, breathes and rocks
Behind it the sky flashes, stroboscopically
The Cosmos becomes one great disco
Dancing to the Heartbeat of Mother Earth
Is this a Dream?
I ask the Winds of Change
To carry me and my prayers into 2012
I eat the Moon
One slice of exotic fruit
I drink in this moment
I become... I AM
I am a spirit ship
Sailing the Winds of Change