About Life

A Seagull Overhead – Documenting Transitions

Ma, move!

I jump up as nimbly and urgently as my crossed legs allow. My son has launched himself from an armchair and is at my side, grabbing my arm.

Moments before I was sitting on the floor in a bone-warming rectangle of sunlight in the living room, knitting a long garter stitch rectangle which is now, at the time of posting, a block-colors poncho with a cheeky pixie hood.

With his eyes on the cathedral-like ceiling (it’s got exposed beams, and you have to tip your head back to appreciate its lofty height) Jee positions us beneath the floor and supporting beams of an upstairs bedroom.

There it is again. The Noise. It’s a cross between a gunshot and an iceberg breaking up. What is it? The roof?

Still looking up from beneath the concept of safety (I don’t think the beams would help us if the roof collapsed), we hear it a third time.

Nah, it’s not from up there.

Our eyes follow our ears. Four dilated pupils watch the grouting between a good number of floor tiles crack.

Bloomin’ heck.


We stand still and wait.


OK. That was a lot of noise for a minor cosmetic issue.

I go back to my patch of sunlight, Jee goes back to the armchair.

I’ve knitted a few introspective rows when…

Bah! Crack. Bah! Crack, crack, crack.

Before my bewildered eyes tiles in the suspicious zone spontaneously ‘tent’ themselves – the grouting between tiles is intact, but the tiles lift. Or, if their grouting is cracked, the tiles now crack.

Noooo, House I cry inside, not now.

The following day my charming home is scheduled to pose for a photo shoot.

A friend messages me and I tell her what Unit 1 has done. Her reply is insightful: Are you trying to uproot yourself?

Something afoot with staying put

A sailor, covered in stormy salt spray, bites into hardtack with bleeding gums and loose teeth and vows, in future, to remain landlocked.

Back on shore, she moves to an inland village and pays no attention to the water in her bones until a stray, adventurous seagull flies overhead, a reminder of Life at Sea.

I am a ‘sailor’ walking away from a metaphoric landlocked village, following a seagull’s circling-back-to-guide-me flight pattern.

I am serenely nervous (there is such a thing), but willing to embark on the next phase of what is, in my later years, a life propelled by trust, courage, and surrender.

My spirit is willing and strong, my fear weak but undoubtedly twitching every now and then.

The tide in my heart is taking me out beyond the breakers to once again sail the Sea of Change, even when I tried really hard to remain stationary, avoiding green-gills motion sickness.

Experience has taught me to go with the current. I’ve learnt that everything is so much easier when I navigate by my internal stars, my own waters, and when I understand how my Spirit Team and I are conversing with one another.

I am open to landing on shores other than the one I thought I was headed for. Nothing is fixed because the Universe is teaching me not to fixate.

Regarding what, precisely, is up ahead, I cannot say because I do not know. And that is precisely how it must be.

Record keeping…

In related posts that follow this one, I will document these transitions – the nuances and little dramas, how they impact my spiritual and physical life.

Together, we’ll reach my next destination, which is not far away on the map at all.

How I’ll be living is going to be the steepest learning curve for me.

Photograph of Michele Damstra sitting on a lawn, wearing her knitted poncho
me and my poncho sitting on the lawn out back, the shadows of drying washing behind us

This week’s Happiness…

is Happinesses, plural.


Metaphors aside, I do get hideous, heaving sick on planes. In 2012, on a flight to the UK, I splattered the partially digested contents of my stomach all over a patch of thin carpet and a stranger’s shiny shoes (press on to see why this is a happiness thing).

There was no barf bag where there should have been one. I was trying to get to a loo before I hurled. I cupped my hand over my mouth while I stood in the queue. When the eruption occurred it blasted past my fingers and went splash! Seconds later a loo door opened. I was shoved inside the now empty cubicle by urgent hands.

I returned to my seat clutching an empty, thick plastic, duty free shopping bag a flight attendant handed to me as I emerged from the airplane toilet. She was waiting for me on the other side of the door, so close I nearly bumped into her.

Later, I filled the packet with a blend of acrid orange juice and yogurt while my brother sat in his adjacent seat, cool as a cucumber, watching the transparent, duty free bag bulge with sour liquid. He was kind and calm and matter-of-fact. My heart swelled with gratitude. Remembering the incident (writing this post brought it up), and his strong stomach, made me grin.


A walk on a long stretch of beach. The sand is courser here, and the surf at odds with itself (riptides). You can walk for hours. We walked until our bellies grumbled for food. At that point, we knew we best head back.

footprints in the sand

‘Til next time, toodle-oo, I love you.

xxx ❤ TeaShell Michele

3 thoughts on “A Seagull Overhead – Documenting Transitions

  1. Loved reading this! And love the pictures too – your poncho is gorgeous!!! Any chance I can have the pattern? I do like knitting too. Wishing you well on your next life journey – do keep us updated. Nat xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nat. Thank you! The pattern is easy-peasy because I never use a pattern and I only knit rectangles and then more rectangles… 😂 I’ll do a count of stitches and rows, and draw a diagram of how I put it all together, and plonk it at the end of my next post, OK? Lots of love to you. Mpwha. ❤️


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