by Angela Passimodo Trafford


Watching the creamy-grey waves sail into the shore in the winter sunlight, I see shivering clouds of sea foam wash up near my feet. I watch the sparkling, bubbly foam shake like jello, then breathe in the salty air and break free in small, puffy, airborne clouds buffeted by the wind.

I used to think that sea foam was the souls of mermaids who were desperately seeking the human experience of being loved by just one man and risked it all for true love. Every time I see those waves roll onto shore and the fluffy ribbons of sea foam cast upon the sand, and hear a seagull cry, I imagine that I hear the sweet feminine voices of the mermaids, too.

I like to imagine things in today’s world which is now sadly lacking in creativity and vision. Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and I can see why.

When we imagine, we become co-creators with God and sail beyond the intellectual and conventional parameters – into the realm of vision and dreaming. This is the realm of shamans and mystics, and it is here I belong and feel most comfortable.

When my children were little I would spin them outrageous stories based on creatures of the earth and the natural world. My stories involved bubbles of sea foam which became the souls of mermaids, a sunny mirage on the ocean that magically transformed into a floating castle with an imprisoned Thumbelina princess, and a wooly bear caterpillar that found the meaning of life through an arduous quest of love, faith, and devotion and thus freed all caterpillars into wooly bear moths. In one of my stories a freshly washed floral quilt hanging to dry on our fencepost in the Canadian woods led to all the rebellious flowers breaking free and running wildly into the fragrant, loamy soil of the forest.

Creatures of the earth and the natural world have always held fascination for me and have been my greatest teachers.

Today I asked the ocean’s rolling surf: “What have you to tell me?”

“Go with the flow,” was the answer. “Trust.”

Easier said than done for most of us whose hearts have been so torn asunder by life and love. However, I believe that the waves can teach us how. If we watch the waves, they will teach us about breaking free and joyously rising and falling together in rushing rivulets that flow smoothly to the shore, ironing out their difficulties. The waves can show us how to break down hardened points of view of what we think our life should be, and let go to the extraordinary flow of what is. If we surrender to the vitality of life itself and the ultimate resolution of love, the miracles follow.

The winter sun, a pale cool white light in a grey sky, speaks of pulling back, receding, and of acceptance.

“I am not warm today,” it says honestly. “I am gathering my energies for a new season, when my renewed enthusiasm will generate the spring and summer heat that kisses your skin with summer glow. But not yet. Not now. Don’t ask much of me now. I am going within, to the heart of myself to restore my soul.”

Observing the sandpipers, I see harmony and play. You can count on them to run on their spindly legs towards the tide, and then back again. Their dance brings comfort and peace.

“Imagine all the people living for today,” sang John Lennon. When we imagine, we let go of the cares and woes of the rational mind and enter the world of children who live in the here and now.

We adults can only give to others when we reach within and nurture ourselves. This is a time when the ebb tide recedes and we must practice acceptance.

Simply observing our natural world through the eyes of love turns a wave into a spiritual master, and the round, feathery head and pointed beak of a sandpiper into a heart’s leap of hope and celebration.

We, who have been given so much, need to return to the spirit of life and learn to receive the messages of the elemental world.

“Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger. A brotherhood of man.”  When we imagine, we dream. When we dream, we are angels at play in the fields of the Lord – the unconscious, where all answers are found.

With the heart of a child, inventions are born. Fairy tales and myths bear legendary wisdom from speakers of truth from generation to generation.

With imagination we can visualize healing our bodies and improving our world.

“I have a dream,” said Martin Luther King;  millions aspired and were freed.

The healing journey begins with just one step – a burning need, a hope, an idea.

Stop for a moment. Slow down and tap into the light within. Cherish this moment of life. Heed the music of a different drummer; find your inner self. Create the life you dreamed of when all was bright-shiny-new and untarnished by experience. Be inspired to new levels of growth, love, and insight. You can become that person you imagined yourself to be.

A seagull cries out – it’s the sound of flight and freedom. It could be your voice. Take your power back. Just imagine.

With imagination we create our world. A cloud of sea foam becomes the soul of a mermaid; flowers escape from quilts and forage in the secret woods with the wild lady’s slippers; a poetic wooly bear caterpillar, blessed by a fairy with faith and endurance saves the world; and one woman sitting at the water’s edge dips into the heart of creation and restores herself.


Just Imagine…