Good mental health, is having samosas by the sea !
I write that with tongue in cheek, but with deep respect for the subject, and for those who suffer from mental illness. Its a subject that I am not unfamiliar with and have witnessed its devastation in family.
But I did have a taste of good mental health personally when I went to see the sea.
There is a small space, created in the suburbs that touch the beach-line, where cars can park and people can watch the sea without having to walk on the beach. There is also access to the beach for walkers and their dogs, paddle skiers and wind surfers should they want to embrace the ocean more intimately. So there is something for everyone. I discovered this little tuck-away-place, and go there for a little ‘sea therapy’ now and again
That morning I received some startling news, that left me in a quandary of doubt and disappointment. Fortunately I had to occupy my mind with errands and could put it all on hold, which is often a good thing when indecision cloud the day.
Now one of my favourite snacks is samosas. It is an Indian fried cuisine, in the shape of a triangle with a filling of beef, chicken, lamb or something tasty. I often treat myself to one or two, and so ease my conscience for not having chosen something sweet to eat, like pecan pie, or Portuguese custard tart !
Today was the day for some comfort food, so I bought some samosas and headed for one of my favourite places, – and for a little ‘sea therapy’
I sat for a long time before I felt the therapy kick in. The concrete bricks that were perched on my shoulders began to grow wings and lift ! They were necessary though for they seemed to stop the hole in my heart from exploding from the seams. The hole has been there for a very long time. It seems to expand and contract, but never really goes away. One learns to live with it, but its like living in the shadow of unhappiness all the time.
Coming face to face with mental disorders is disconcerting to say the least ! There are many disorders. I have looked at schizophrenia and squinted at narcissism – both of which are crushing to the soul. Mental disorders will reveal the dysfunctions in families. If not confronted, it will bury the flaws, that in later years, even generations, may cause further deterioration and havoc. Facing the deep, takes courage !
The hole is not in my pumping heart, its in my happy heart – if you know what I mean ? I am sure there are many of us who live with a hole in the heart. We put on our smiley faces, but live in the shadow of sadness.
I enjoyed my samosas and aloe-vera cool drink, and sat a little longer when I heard the question : ” You are having samosas by the sea, now what do you see ?”
How often is it that we don’t see what we are looking at ?
So I looked with fresh eyes at what I was looking at, in that moment.
Firstly I became aware of the still silence, except for the small thunderous crashes of the waves on the beach. It was then that I began to have a sense of Peace.
I have noticed that Peace likes to come when there is stillness and silence.
Peace is always a welcome friend.
I saw a little bird perched on a dying branch, looking for crumbs left by visitors.
I saw a lazy sea-gull, slowly flap-flapping his wings along the water’s edge.
I saw the sheer whiteness of the gurgling breaking waves, as the afternoon sun caught their brilliance.
I saw the distance of mists beginning to rise from the ocean, that meant heat and humidity was on its way.
I saw the horizon, I love horizons ! And that is when the concrete bricks began to lift off my shoulders. Distance and promise, the call of something new !
There were many many cargo ships on the waters, waiting their time to enter the Durban harbour to offload their goods from far away places. World Trade is alive and well after all, despite the trade wars between America and China !
From the car next to me came a couple with an ice box, who made they way to the seaside. She had on a flimsy beach robe over her shorts, and as she reached the dune, she lifted both her arms as if to take off with the wind – and the freedom she was obviously feeling.
Then further down two young fellows parked their car and off loaded the canoe and paddle skies that would take them into the blue, and into the deep. Brave lads !
It had been a good visit to my favourite spot, and as I enjoyed my samosas by the sea, I came away refreshed by what I had seen. I realised that life goes on, no matter what the news, and what the problems are that would beset us.
That there are those, who despite it all enjoy life and what it has to offer. And that we need to take hold of the good things too that come our way.
It was not only a taste of my samosas by the sea, but a taste of life that refreshed me that day. Life is good, look for the good – and be in the moment, that to my mind, is good mental health.
Philippians 4 : 7
and the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds,
through Christ Jesus.