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I very rarely debate or think about the concepts of religion and spiritualism, but I must admit that I am very attracted to the idea of reincarnation. I would love to return to earth, or rather, I would love to return to the ocean, as a creature that can live and breathe in the water: a seaweed swaying with the movement of the tide, or a tiny silver fish playing in the waves or maybe a mollusc in a pretty shell. Yes, I like the latter – when I die and my shell washes up on the beach, I can bring joy to a lucky beachcomber.

Japanese philosophy teaches us that our lives are influenced by the five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Void (ether, also translated as ‘sky’ or ‘heaven’). Water represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world which can be associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism. 1

I visualise myself as having mental or emotional tendencies towards adaptation and change (this is my fantasy, I can play any role that I like!). So, for me, it must be Water.

And seashells.

Many spiritual healers believe in the healing powers of the water, the sand and the salt in the air, which purifies the body and the spirit by removing negative emotions. They also believe that sea shells, which symbolise the water and the influence of the moon on the tides, can cause a person to become more expressive, calm and soft-hearted. See? I’m very soft-hearted, so it must be true.

All I know is that the movement of the sea, the sound of the waves and endless stretches of beach (which I prefer to have to myself – I’m also very selfish) have a calming effect on me. I love the beach when the sun is shining and I can go for a swim, but I also love the overcast and rainy days when we go for long walks and collect seashells.

On our beach, if you are very lucky, you will find the much-coveted cowrie shell. We have a few in our collection. “Spiritually, according to African legend, if you are attracted to cowrie shells you could be family to an ocean spirit of wealth and earth. It also represents Goddess protection which is very powerful and connected with the strength of the ocean. Throughout Africa, and South and North America, the cowrie symbolized the power of destiny and prosperity.” 2

I found this lekker tongue twister on You Tube:

Die meeste van die skulpies wat ons hier optel, veral die cowries, is nie baie groot nie. Dit maak nie saak nie, skulpe bly nog steeds vir my mooi en ek wil nog steeds gereïnkarneer word as ‘n cowrie. Ek sal so lekker deur die golwe rol tot op die sand. Hierdie skulpies is nogal gehard en word nie maklik verpletter op die rotse nie. Die seedierjie wat binne-in woon is goed beskut en gaan gewoonlik dood van natuurlike oorsake.

Die groter outjies het gewoonlik reeds gaatjies in, soos die een wat ek hierbo in die fotos in my hand vashou, maar die gaatjies is ook deel van hulle skoonheid. Soms maal die lewe ons fyn, maar as ons gelukkig is, kom ons weg met net ‘n paar gaatjies. Ons sien wel soms stukke van heelwat groter skulpe wat stukkend geslaan is op die rotse.

Ek is van kleins af gefassineer deur skulpe en het ook vas geglo dat jy die gedruis van die branders kan hoor as jy ‘n skulp teen jou oor vashou. Ek het intussen geleer dat dieselfde effek verkry kan word deur ‘n teekoppie teen jou oor te hou – dis net die eggos van geluide van buite die skulp wat jy hoor. Ag wel ek het eens op ‘n tyd ook in krismisvader geglo.

Wanneer ek na die cowrie kyk, dink ek aan die woord “toeskulp”. Kyk mooi, die kante is onder so naby mekaar ingevou dat baie min vyande daar kan indring – die mollusk is veilig toegeskulp. Om toegeskulp te wees, kan egter beteken dat die mollusk ook nie veel interaksie met die lewe buite die skulp het nie. ‘n Mens moet ook maar kies hoe jy wil leef, toegeskulp in jou onbetrokke houding of om toegeskulp te word in liefde saam met die diegene om ons. Dis my filosofie en ek is nie eens ‘n spiritual healer nie!

Footnotes

  1. Five_elements_(Japanese_philosophy)
  2. http://africaimports.com/cowrieshell.asp
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