Pelicans at the mouth of the Bolinas Estuary


Have you had enough stress yet?

The Estuary As Metaphor for these tumultuous times---
I’ve been contemplating how to work with the concept of Resilience. It’s a word being used alot these days and yet what does it really mean? How do you do it? As you may already know I write a lot about water, and how it its always moving and changing. The way of water is rich in metaphor for how we can navigate these times.
In my recent coach mentor group, we began with a check in from around the world. We discussed the dramatic events happening in the world today including recent Kabul and the flooding in the US and more. Some of us were struggling with pain and sorrow and having a hard time coping.
I spoke about the metaphor of the Estuary as a way to stay open and resilient. The Estuary is the transition zone between the salt water of the ocean and the fresh water from inland streams and rivers. To live in the transition zone is to have flexibility to shift between the fresh water inland and the salty water turbulence of the ocean. Some animals and birds can only live in the salty sea while some can only live in freshwater. Very few species can live in the transition zone of estuaries and marshes where the salt and fresh waters mix.
We started with the concept of the transition zone as that space between our grounded centered state and how we meet the turbulent waters of the salty sea. The Estuary is moved by the ebb and flow of the tides. It is always moving in or out.
(Excerpted from my personal journal; The Water Calls: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim her Dignity and Freedom, (15 years in the making and being published soon).
"The Estero is the meeting place of the gods. She is the place where freshwater and saltwater meet and mingle. Without her, there is no life, no transition from land to sea. She is the meeting place for the fisherman and the mermaid, the girl and the seal. She is a place to rest for weary shore birds. Each year she waits for the salmon to swim upriver to lay their eggs—the salmon that will someday feed the two-legged man and the four-legged bear. She offers sandy shores for seals to breed, rest, and frolic. She provides the mouth of transportation for man and all his industrial undertakings. Without her, life on earth would not exist."
Somatic centering exercise: Being in the Transition Zone: First we did our centering practice (CP), then we imagined being in the transition zone, the ocean represented the chaos happening around the globe. We imagined the times when the ocean is rough, tearing and pounding into the cliffs, taking chunks of shore and returning the sand, the grit, the rocks and even people's houses to the place of their beginning. We imagined the other side of the transition zone where the streams gurgle, and our families are playing at the now gentle shores. We centered back into the transition zone, set our hands, one on our heart and one on our belly, and connected to what and who we care about.
Centering, breathing, flowing with the current, in and out, in and out. Let yourself blend into the watery transition zone between the harshness around you and the complexity of being present. And in that complexity, we find the simplicity of living.

Blessings!
Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi