Ebb and Flow

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“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

~ Henry Miller

The tide comes in gently hitting the sandy shore of this protected cove and then goes out, ebbing and flowing, waning and waxing being pulled by heavenly bodies. I watch it come in and go out. Shorebirds chase its edge eating unseen creatures, small invertebrates I suspect that come in with the tide. The rhythm of one matches the other. There is a lot of life in these margins and in these rhythms; living on the edge is no mere marginal living. There are whole worlds in the cracks, in the in-between. Just ask the sanderling or talk with the sandpiper. My daughter darts here and there, running in and out of the water as the tide comes and goes, with a rhythm both her own and like that of the waves and shorebirds. Her delight echoes off the cove and then gets swallowed in the immensity of the Pacific and its rolling, crashing song.

My thoughts come and go as I watch the waves crash against the sandy shore and then retreat to their watery world. This is the nature and rhythm of waves, thoughts and much else. Our lives are like this as well, although we fool ourselves into thinking that things are linear, consistent and permanent. Our life ebbs and flows. We retreat inward and then curl and open outward. Maya Angelou once wrote, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer them.” We mustn’t think that just because we don’t have an answer to a question now that we never will. The answer may be found in the unknown writing of years hence or perhaps its already lying here right in front of our face, in this very cove. Time too is not linear – it is not a straight line between two points, two object, two selves. It expands and contracts like well-functioning lungs and it may breathe life into something or simply take it away.

I don’t really know what I am trying to say today. Actually I am not trying to say anything; I am simply trying to write. There was a slight crack that I noticed. Someone else’s writing made me notice the crack or perhaps it was an edge. Either way, I went with it and here I write about edges, margins, cracks and the flowing rhythm of it all. My writing ebbs and flows also; and today it feels distant like a strong spring tide with both sun and moon pulling together. Let the words flow like a river or crash against the shore with profundity like waves. Not today. None of that. Just words and not too many. Sometimes that is the best you can hope for and you gotta accept it for what it is. Just another ebb and flow in this dynamic and beautiful life.

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