Do you find yourself longing to dive into the ocean and splash among the waves, or frolic all summer long? Perhaps you are a Selkie: a seal that shapeshifts into human form. Celtic & Northern European folklore swims with myths of seals who shed their skins to become devoted spouses and parents on land, but long for the sea, to which they eventually return, given the chance.
Water is a universal symbol of the soul and deep emotion. Few animals are so free-spirited when twirling through the watery depths than seal. Perhaps these ancient stories reflect our desire to navigate the fathoms of Psyche as easily as our fishy counterparts. Perhaps, like sailors and mermaids, we long to experience the vast and untethered freedom of the ocean. Either way, Seal is a guide for all who need help gliding more gracefully through the shifting tides of life.
If you aren’t a Selkie, you can at least think or play like a seal. Seals have warm fur and lots of blubber, which allow them to flourish in all oceans, in all seasons. How prepared are you for changing conditions? If it rains, literally or figuratively, are your galoshes and raincoats at hand so you can run outside and splash in the streets, or are you going to sit at home, bored and staring forlornly out the window, waiting for sunnier days? If a wonderful, handsome stranger spontaneously asks you out on an adventurous date, are you prepared to run away with him on the spot (for the day… for the rest of your life?) Or are you going to say, “sorry, I’m not wearing the right shoes” or, “I have to go wash my hair first.” Seals, and the humans that apprentice with them, are prepared to go with the flow and to follow the currents. This way, most things go their way.
Seals don’t live in the past or worry about the future. When hungry, they use their whiskers and keen sense of smell to find sustenance even in the murkiest of waters. They sleep wherever they are when tired: on a warm rock in the sun, or in the cool depths of the water — they instinctively rise to the surface in their sleep to breathe. Wouldn’t it be nice to be this carefree, this able to take care of our basic needs, no matter what is happening in our environment?
This August, take to the shores and spend time watching, or imitating the seals. You are sure to have a lot more fun, and learn a thing or two about surviving in harsh conditions— joyfully.