A leathery-skinned sea cucumber can twist its middle like a liquorice stick and split into two. The two pieces then grow new backs and fronts to become two separate and whole sea cucumbers. They can violently contract their muscles and throw out internal organs through their anus, and regenerate missing parts within weeks. The starfish can lose a point and restore that limb within months.

Much can regenerate, including within humans.

On a physical level, tissues and fibres can grow back, as well as hair, nails and the liver organ.

I wonder about the essence or spirit of us humans though, our soul, and the extent at which it can regenerate. When our soul gets to that place where we feel we’ve gone down a cog or two in our ability to function, it’s then that regeneration of the soul needs to occur, to mend with time.

But as sea turtle hatchlings that dig their way to daylight and scamper to where their souls draw them, across warmed sand under the sharp eye of preying egrets, into waters where sharks wait ready to snap, navigating the regeneration can be a treacherous ride through frothing surf.

With a paining soul, we attempt to ride a wave without a surfboard or dodge simple obstacles that are normally no concern, sometimes meekly and with as great a sensitivity as heat passing over sunburnt skin. Such measure of mite can be exhausting, the noise so loud that nothing can be heard.

And yet the depth of strength needed to do that helps us grow and repair. We must find that peace of wherever that may be to hear nothing again, to sit and allow our energy to rejuvenate through its natural healing process, a nurturing process that the human spirit just knows how to do.

You know you’ve managed the wildest waves when you feel your body steady, sometimes precariously on the tip of wave where you can see still, inviting water ahead. You feel your heart skip and a glimmer of compassion within, you know you’re beginning to command once again.

Sometimes though, a human spirit cannot manage that mega-surf and we must say good-bye to a soul that does not renew in this world.

I salute those that are too pained to regenerate. I’m grateful to those that can.

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