Rushing water over stream rocks
Lapping lake waves over small-stoned beach gravel
Crashing ocean tides changing sand-duned shores

Places where I have been silent,
yet the sounds of water
wash through me

Places where I am alone,
yet in much grander company

It has taken me all these years—decades—
to realize that the silence under the water
is my own song

Lifelong preference of solitude
beside flowing water—or under it
swimming, gliding, through water’s silkiness—
was safety

Even the memory of it
is not merely my love of Nature
but My Nature itself

The years-long struggle to “fit in”—to be a part of—
was not a struggle with the world
but against my self

To be brave and thicken my skin—to toughen up—
was, in fact, to deny the “skin”
I had taken off
in order to dwell in the world of Others

I do not know where my true skin is hidden
perhaps, like a Selkie,
I will find it someday—put it on again—
and return to my true home

In the meantime
I clothe myself in the beauty
of the growing things
and seek their protection

And sit by the moving waters—
listening

Photo (C) KateCowieRiley 2021