For several months I have been silently busy finding out more about the underlying health condition behind several problems in my body that weren’t apparently related, but in fact were.
A blood test had finally revealed the central key to the enigma of my overall bad health, and had revealed also heavy deficiencies in vit. B 12 and vit. D. – two deficiencies quite serious in that case, I found out on my own later, as they might have been powerful contributing causes to the beginning of the main illness itself, and to its continuation later on.
When these results of the blood test came up, as I preferred not to go for allopathic medicines, I was ordered to urgently eat more proteins of animal origin, and to get a good daily dose of sun rays on my body, especially the parts that usually are covered and don’t get any.
What an unbelievable irony: me, a girl from Martinique, who grew up in Africa, and have been in India for over forty years, to find myself with a vit. D deficiency!!! Of course as long as I lived on the beach, that is, for eighteen years, I had all the vit. D needed. So what had happened?…
Well, it is now nearly three years that, my house there being finally gone (a man-made heavy coastal erosion problem destroyed all the houses there slowly, my one was the last to go but in the end it also did) I have had to relocate as an emergency to another Auroville settlement, more inland. The place where I have been living since then has a number of beautiful, enormous trees of very diverse kinds (I possibly helped plant them in the early years like most everybody did at the time…) It is wonderful in many ways to live practically under a magnificent mango tree standing in front of your door, and to have behind the house two gigantic silk-cotton trees. But with the heavy foliage all those giants have, my house is just too much in the shade on both sides. Hence in the long term the lack of vit. D ….
What was I to do in such a catch 22 situation?… A few months back, not long after I discovered the hidden cause of my various health problems, a house became vacant in another beach settlement, one area of the Auroville beach that has survived more or less all right the coastal erosion and is not affected any more dangerously by it. I applied at once for that house, and waited patiently for it to be given to me through the allocating process orchestrated by the Auroville Housing Service. In the meantime, I started going often to that empty house for having sunbaths and even some sea-baths from the ocean as well, as I felt this too was very much missing in my relocated life and would do me a lot of good. So I got used to changing there, lying discretely in the sun on the benches around the house, going to the sea and rinsing there after the bath, and then dressing up again before going back to my present home inland.
When a few weeks ago that house got allocated to another person, and so stopped being available anymore for me even for that little bit of use, I became almost desperate as to what else I could do to go on getting the sun and water treatments that were improving my health already so much. The Housing Service, still keenly aware of my need, is trying to find a way to build a new house for me there (the other one was quite old and in need of repair), but even if that proves possible, it will take many months before this house is ready. While waiting, what could I do to keep helping particularly my legs, and my heart too, also damaged already by the illness affecting the whole of my body…?
What was the Divine wanting me to do next???
It is then, in that moment of utter disappointment and near despair, that another Aurovilian, whom I happened to be speaking privately with, asked me if I was never going to ‘La Piscine’. I sighed, and answered warily that I could never go to any swimming-pool, as the chlorinated water would burn my eyes and make them red for days, make my skin itchy all over, and my hair terribly dry… not to mention my sinuses hurting whenever some of the water would get inside my nose. And I hated that smell in the water so it was no pleasure at all being in there anyway. The other Aurovilian shook her head, and assured me that in ‘La Piscine’ another system was used, not the usual kind of chlorination; the result was a slightly salty water that would not harm you at all and was even quite pleasant to be in. Astonished, I decided to give it a try, and a few days ago I did.
What an amazing and wonderful surprise indeed that water was!!! And being a bit salty, it enabled you to float nicely like I enjoy so much doing in the ocean. It was warmer than the ocean, though: nearly 30 degrees Celsius, what a treat!… I blissfully just soaked in there for a while, entirely focused at first on all those new physical sensations I was experiencing; then slowly I started swimming a little… than more vigorously… on my back, as usual, in the free style I like best of all… Oh my!… I couldn’t believe this was really happening, it was almost too great to be true! Floating on my back, I rested, my eyes wide open; soon I found myself looking into the spaces in between the special material that provides shade over the whole pool, watching the few little clouds that were visible here and there, as they moved nonchalantly against the pure azure blue of the sky’s serene immensity. Then, still in the water, but now lowering my eyes and my whole body too, I stood up in my lane, my feet happily resting on the gently sloped bottom of the pool, and my head fully out. Back to my normal sense of being, I finally felt relaxed enough for doing something I suddenly realized my previous utter concentration inward had prevented me from doing before: I began looking around… Set in natural surroundings with greenery everywhere nearby, including some big trees, the pool was a beautiful spot of blue and turquoise, evocative of the most picture perfect and most inviting South Seas, with its clear water showing the colours of the bottom down below; the surface was a vast and calm horizontal line, whose peace was troubled only by the innumerable cheerful tiny bubbles coming up from each hole down below through which the water was forcefully entering along the sides of the pool’s big rectangle. Enchanted by this sight, my next delight was of course to play with these delightful myriads of bubbles bursting like laughter against your skin all over your body and your face. I was laughing inwardly along with them, and enjoying myself tremendously, in fact truly like a little child. Oh, I thought, now is the time for a little ‘jacuzzi’-style massage on my legs, my poor legs so heavy usually with their still not completely cleansed lymph, that lymph charged with unsuspected toxins from my diet, ignorantly kept the same as usual when my lifestyle had changed and I should have changed my diet too… So I happily jacuzzied my legs in those laughing bubbles that felt like champagne, a real treat for a body born in a part of France!
Then I swam again some, and while resting, noticed a few nice deck beds there on the periphery; going up the ladder from the not-too-deep deeper end, I went out and comfortably settled on one of these elegant, strong white nylon beds for a well-deserved session of natural vit. D producing exposure to the bright sun. Turning around often, I kept it brief on each side of my body, not wanting to burn any portion of my skin in the process, but to have only the beneficial effects that would come from normal movement in the sun with minimum clothing on, the same as if I had been for example, like in my teen-age holidays in Brittany, playing volley-ball on a beach in my small bikini – something unthinkable on an Indian beach, alas, but at least possible here, at this strictly internal swimming-pool where the Indians too are Aurovilians and used to this different culture we the Westerners have brought with us when joining Auroville from the early years on. There is even a tiny, shallow pool next to the big one so that babies and toddlers too can enjoy being there together with their parents, and learn to swim early – some were born at their Auroville home in the water, and so never needed to stop knowing spontaneously how to swim…
As I am writing this, I have been already three times to ‘La Piscine’, and I am simply so grateful to the Divine that someone added such a great asset to one of our settlements on this side of Auroville (there is another one on the other side), along with simple tennis-courts and other facilities on this small sports-ground hidden on the edge of a big local village. It is next to a little Auroville school especially created for the village children whose parents, although preferring not to become Aurovilians themselves, want their kids to grow up the Auroville way. Swimming, like all other sports, is such a wonderful bridge between cultures, and such an occasion to give our human body the attention, care and exercise it deserves for its health and joy of being… as my own body tells me gleefully every time I go there: