Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Taking Charge and Turning Points

Isn't life an interesting thing? It comes in waves––or maybe I want to say in sets––of five, six, or even seven. (Most surfers will tell you seven is the magic number.) I'm no surfer, but like all of us, I am riding the crests and swells of life as best I can. Sometimes I catch the wave just right, and other times it catches me and drags me along the bottom for a bit. Occasionally I come up gasping for breath, with a nose (or lung) full of water, salt in my eyes, and scratchy sand in places I never imagined, but I always do come up. And the most important part of that equation (on land or sea) has always been trust: letting the waves of life or ocean take me, reminding myself that even when they beat me up more than I'd like; if I can just relax, keep the faith, and hang on to my patience; this turmoil, too, shall pass.

Today is one of those days for me. The most recent set of waves in my life hasn't looked all that treacherous, but the churning currents beneath the surface have been pretty rough (riptides, I guess), and I've been buffeted about and drug around a bit more than has felt comfortable. This morning, though, the tides have turned. All at once and with little warning my ocean is looking smooth as glass, and I can see the horizon clearly. Even the lighthouse shines more brightly in the distance, as I plant my feet on solid ground and know that a lull has come once again––a much-needed time to breathe deeply and slowly––a time to fill my lungs and renew my energy and resolve.

I love these peaceful lulls, but they couldn't exist without the large and small sets of waves that surround them, the make-or-breakers that swell and rise and crash and recede, again and again and again and again, rendering our senses alive and alert and ready to engage with something, Someone, greater than ourselves. (Lighthouses are always, for me, a reminder of Him.)

One thing is certain. No matter how frequently or infrequently the sets roll in, the moment I begin to think I see and understand the pattern, it will change. Perhaps this is at the very root of my reason for loving the ocean as I do, because it is in every way imaginable a metaphor for life, a soothing reminder that while I am not in charge, the timeless and inviolate rhythm is set in motion by the One who is, He who calms the sea and stills the tempest inside me.


jen said...

Thanks for this today. I'm drowning. And I know I just need to hold on.
Thanks for the hugs.

Natalie said...

Thank you.

karen said...

Beautiful Sue! I know that, just as the waves will always come in and go out again, so do our problems. And you're experiencing one of those lulls? Lucky girl... Enjoy!

NBlake said...

Glad yours are peaceful. Enjoy. I am in that place where you are standing when the wave goes out and you can feel it pulling all around you. You know you are strong enough that you wont get pulled in, but you feel that kind of slurpy sinking around your feet.

KC Mom said...

It's so funny how when those moments of low waves or lulls, that we almost get fearful again because we know the swells are on the horizons. As if it's too good to be true. We also know that just like crashing waves smooth rough stones into polished surfaces, those powerful waves and tides have the same influence on polishing us.
Thank you for sharing.

Karen said...

What a great way to put it - As always I appreciate your ability to express such emotions and yet in such a way I always feel peace at the end. Thanks, I need to remember that the solid ground is there and someone will always help lift me out.

jhofhine said...

As always, your words touch my heart! You are most awesome! The challenges you have had to face and the way you have come through them inspires me. I love you so much! You are an exceptional example to all of us! You have great wisdom that you can share, and humour as well, which is critical,especially in today's "climate". I am amazed at your talent and tolerance, and I always have been. Love you more than you know!

Heather Anderson said...

Sometimes, your words are exactly what I think but could never put down on paper (or type to post). I feel very much the same about the ocean and it is so grounding to me. When I lived in UT I felt like it was hard to breath sometimes just knowing I couldn't drive to the coast... your words are perfect for me, thanks! I am glad your having a time of peace now.

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