Brown crabs the color of the wet rocks they skittered about on became visible when I focused my attention on them. But to a glancing eye, their shape and movement was invisible.
I crouched down to photograph them, intending to use them for my new blog. I didn’t realize at the time, how alike the crabs and I were.
I was in Barbados after Christmas with my husband. We were visiting his parents and enjoying walks on the beach and good West Indian food. We spotted the crabs on the rocks beside the boardwalk that ran along the coastal city of Bridgetown.
Despite the frothy pounding of waves, those crabs hung on. Only when the waters receded, did they amble about the rocks. But they never left. The rocks were their home, a place of safety. A place to hide.
Hiding is a protective instinct built into all living creatures. We hide from what we fear, physical and often emotional. Sometimes the danger is real, but sometimes it’s imagined. Sometimes we fear what is good for us. Adam and Eve did. After they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they feared God and hid from him. The way they reacted is typical of humans who are afraid of being called out on their sins, faults, or fears.
The night after I saw the crabs, I dreamt that I was invisible. I could see everyone around me but no one could see me. I awoke with an “aha” about the crabs and me. I am a writer who has written in a safety zone, reported on other people’s stories, and spun fiction. But many of the stories from my own life—the insights gained, the miracles realized, the healings of emotions, the full circles granted —stories that can give courage to those striving for freedom—have been hidden away, in my journals.
As a woman who has been freed in so many ways, it’s time to pass the freedom on to others who long for it. Sure there’s risk involved. What if I offend someone? Sound stupid? Misspell something? Hurt someone’s feelings? I don’t want to. But I may. If I want to encourage others to stretch themselves and live courageously in a world that wants us to conform to its mold, I have to stop hiding among the rocks. I hope you will join me.