There’s a reason waves make such great metaphor.
Waves break. They roll. They wash away from shore and then return. They can crash or they can brush up on the beach. Waves can lull you to sleep or inspire you with their energy.
The part of a wave that held my attention this weekend was the space in between. From one peak to another, it was the dip, the bend in the water, that brief period in time between one splash and the next.
There’s no doubt that life rages around us. The headlines are proof, but more subtle is the change in family life, the transition, the rock and roll of time that reminds us we’re often riders of the storm, rather than captain of the ship.
Back in Los Angeles, my then-boyfriend, now husband, could body surf with the best of them. He and his buddy would sight the wave, waiting for the exact time to catch the crest and ride it to the shore. Sometimes there was a little turbulence as they got caught in the scrum at the drop of the wave, when the tide pulls back to the ocean. They would pop up, heads shaking like dogs, smiling like crazy.
I tried this. In retrospect, as a novice the roll was too high for me to safely navigate, but it looked amazing, like you could surf it out forever. You can imagine the outcome. There was, however, an unanticipated twist: the riptide. A ten-foot wave will drop you like a rock, but a strong riptide behind it will not allow you to stand up.
These days, there’s a strong feeling of riptide. I’m not young or naive enough to think I’m in control. But the waves are high and I’m looking for ways to take advantage of that curl in between.