My moment of freedom had come. All of my children were at school for the morning, and the tide was up. The ocean was calling.Getting Back To MeMy moment of freedom had come. All three of my children were at school for the morning, I had my maid come to tackle the monotonous dishes and laundry, and the tide was up. I lifted the light weight inflatable paddle board and paddle under my right arm and jaunted down the backyard through the gate and a few steps more to the shore of the Indian ocean.Considerably colder than last week, my feet carefully followed the narrow path cut out through the spikes of mangroves growing in the water and hopped on board as soon as the fin was deep enough to not scrape the bottom. One stroke after another, I found my stride as my morning coffee streamed waves of energy through my body. I directed into the wind, passing anchored old boats bobbing in the shallows, and paddling past an old man waste deep heading to his own boat. We greeted with good mornings and I wondered what he had been through, noting his wrinkly skin and frail body, and the determination with which he pursued his daily task of fishing for food. Our two cultures brushed cheeks calmly and simply, acknowledging each other but not stopping for the conversation that could last for days if we  really took the time to learn about each other. The irony of the coexistence of our two worlds never ceases to leave me stunned.Carrying on, I fix my eyes downwards as I replay my husband’s instructions on good form, and concentrate on smooth and strong repetitions. After about ten minutes, I kneel down and choke up on the paddle, no longer worried about form, just cruising with simple strokes farther out to sea, farther from anything I need to do.The sun beams warm my arms and face and I lay flat back, fingers in the water, just drifting and listening. Sweet memories of beach days with my sister and high school surf sessions revive my soul in a way only ocean and sun can. I feel myself drifting, and I could fall asleep and just let go, but the responsible mom part in me negates elongated freedom for other things; more productive things that I promised myself I would do. Like writing.I let myself linger and absorb for only minutes more, trying to figure out how to bottle that feeling of falling back in time to when life consisted of friends, the beach, music and freedom. How I miss that part of myself, that connection with creation, that consistent salty skin and time to just be. I console myself with promises that motherhood happens in phases, and I am on the cusp of a new one, slowly closing the door of babyhood and welcoming the days when my kids are more independent. Yet I dare not wish these days away.Arriving home, the empty house frightens me with its abrasive silence. No little girls whining or giggling, toys are all put away and living room intact. This is new for me, only the second week to send them together to preschool. Just one day a week. One day to breathe. One day to write. One day to listen to my own thoughts without someone talking over me or needing more food or a clean diaper or a teacher for home school or a referee to break up the fight. I’m surprised at the sadness the silence brings. Perhaps a preview of what’s to come when they are all in grade school.I imagined myself brimming over with joy and excitement at all the freedom to do…whatever. And here I am, free-and afraid. Might I be afraid of what the time will show me, when I finally get the chance to pour out my heart on paper, uninterrupted, for hours at a time? What if it’s ugly? What if it’s embarrassing? What if it’s not what I thought it would be?But what if it’s beautiful and liberating and messy and real and exactly what it should be? Energizing. Challenging. Hope inducing.  I am on a journey to discover and rediscover what I am made of, at my deepest core, and give the world the person I was designed to be, uniquely me.We all have a fear that holds us back from a dream. We all have a subtle excuse that keeps us from facing some truth. But what if, even in secret, we just start somewhere? “Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”Danielle La Porte

May 28th, 2016, 9am

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Kat Warner

Mom of three, living in Moz since 2010 and working in the local community with my husband. I am passionate about finding meaning in the menial and sharing it through writing in hopes to inspire others in their daily lives.

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