“Against the Tide” by Janet Thomas
The morning is balmy and still. A woman in a floral bathing cap and thick white bath robe walks towards the sea. Her gait is slow and measured, the walking sticks an extra set of limbs. Fifteen metres from the water’s edge she lets the sticks fall and drops the robe from her shoulders. Her limbs are weathered driftwood; the pale green bathing suit clings to her like the too ripe skin of an apple. Her husband, lagging by two paces, steps forward, retrieves her gown and the walking sticks, hands the sticks back to her, watches as she picks a path through the beach detritus. Five paces from the water’s edge, using the sticks for support, she lowers herself to the sand. Ignoring joggers and beach walkers, she crawls into the water. Her husband, planted against the rising sun, watches. She leans into the combers, lets them lap her chin and caress her shanks, crawls further into their embrace, lowers her head, spreads her arms, her legs, and rests. Finally, the right then the left arm lifts. Bony elbows flash in the sun, long sure strokes carry her away from pain, until a wringing turn washes her back to shore. She retraces the long crawl across the sand, retrieves her sticks, scales their length and after several studied steps, accepts the proffered robe.
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Janet Thomas entered the third phase of her life choosing to celebrate survival and triumph, not
sorrow and tribulation. Her blog, Elixir: Reflective and Creative Writing from the Third Phase
reflects this decision. Janet spends her days writing, reading and enjoying life. She has a
doctorate in Creative Writing, a Diploma in Teaching, a Graduate Diploma in Teaching
(Women’s Education) and a Diploma in Professional Counselling.