Another extract from Margaret Silf’s, The Other Side of Chaos: Breaking Through When Life Is Breaking Down. And it’s about something that happened in Ireland…
I was in County Donegal in Ireland one summer, facilitating a retreat in a lovely little house beside a long and almost deserted beach that skirted a sea loch.
We had been looking at the problems of letting things go, and I suggested to those on retreat that if there was something they wanted to let go of—perhaps some fear or anxiety or resentment—they might like to go down to the shore at low tide and draw some symbol of their preoccupation in the sand, and then the next morning go back to the beach and notice how, while they had slept, the advancing and receding tides had washed away their symbol.
It felt only right to do this exercise myself, and so that evening I made a sign in the sand that represented a situation I was anxious about. As I made my symbol, I realized that it was helping me clarify exactly what it was I was so angry about and so afraid of. Drawing in the sand had, that night, the same effect as speaking out my concerns to a wise friend. It was also a way of turning my anxieties into prayer.