I recently read an article about Lisa Faulkner where she talks about her life. Her mum died when Lisa was 16 and she describes briefly about how this changed her life. She mentions her love of cooking, her daughter and her husband, John Torode. The article was only a page long and it also included photos, so all in all it was brief. Out of the whole article there was one phrase that really stood out for me. “Life throws you lots of beautiful rockpools that you can jump into.”
Initially, I thought it was a strange way to describe what life throws at us. In my mind, life throws curveballs or gives you lemons! Rockpools just didn’t fit in with my way of thinking, especially as I was sat in a hospital waiting room at the time. The phrase obviously left an impact because I’m still thinking about it days later.
I grew up on the Northeast coast of England, with several beaches within a short drive. Most of my childhood holidays were spent not far from Whitby, playing in rockpools.
Rockpools that were full of magic, intrigue, and surprise. There were deep ones and shallow ones, some were crystal clear whilst others were murky with hidden bottoms. Some were empty while others held surprises such as starfish and crabs or even a little fish. I certainly wouldn’t think of them as something life throws at us, that is until now.
When life throws me a curveball, I’m most likely to drop it. When life gives me lemons I can make lemonade, a lemon cake or pop it on top of fish but that’s about it. Both give the connotation as being difficult, a struggle or limiting.
When life throws a rockpool it brings on a whole new meaning. Yes, we may have a difficult time for awhile but the rockpool also brings with it something else. In its hidden depths or under a rock is a message, a lesson, something we can take from the experience.
When my dad died my life turned upside down, but it brought with it a message that life is too short and to savour every moment. My life changed forever at that point, as my mum needs support from me. It made me realise that I am important and that I need to give myself quality time to rest and relax to care for her. I now value the quiet times more; I appreciate the times just for me.
Illness may give us the opportunity to value those close to us. The sudden death of a friend may make us hold our other friends even closer. Losing a job may give us the opportunity to re-evaluate our life or not take money for granted.
None of us can avoid life’s twists and turns, but we can look at life differently. When we fall or jump into the rockpool it may be mayhem at first. We often hurt, emotions take over, we struggle and let’s face it, if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human. Once the ripples in the rockpool eventually settle, take the opportunity to take a closer look at what’s hidden inside. It took over four years for the ripples to settle for me when my dad died.
What does life throw at you? Curveballs? Lemons? Rotten tomatoes? Or a rockpool? We can’t avoid what gets thrown at us, but we can control how we react and how we view the experience.
If I hadn’t been sat in the hospital waiting room, I’d have not bought a magazine to pass away the time. I’d have never read about life giving me rockpools and this blog would just be a blank page.
Let's jump in some rockpools!