Life In Waves, What This Series Meant To Me
I think that waves can be a really beautiful way of describing our journey in life. And I hope that everybody can relate to this sort of journey. Just like movements through life, water moves. Up and down, it swells and rises, then falls, crashes, and rises again. Don’t we all do this in life?
The ebb and flow is inevitable, and unavoidable. But you can learn to float through it, eventually start to swim, and for the truly skilled in life, surf it.
There are times that the waters are smooth, peaceful, everything is glassy, the sky is pink, and nothing can go wrong. We carry things with us like the water carries sea glass, sea shells and drift wood. To the average eye these are just things, but for some of us they are precious treasures, formed by the turbulence and rough waters of the sea into something beautiful.
The only reliable event in water is the tide, moving in and out every day. The water retreats and leaves behind dry beach covered in exciting sea life and items you didn’t know where there. Those figurative sea shells, sea glass, and drift wood are all laid out for viewing and deciding what you are going to take home with you. I experienced my own tide by moving to Arizona, to one of the driest places I’d ever been to heal from a horrible storm in my life. It was there that I was able to pick up all those things I had been holding onto, truly look at them and decide what to keep, and what to leave behind.
I spent four years in the desert, and I was dry, I needed my Pacific Northwest water again.
We all know the feeling when a storm is approaching. The wind flutters your hair, the water starts to stir, white tips the waves, you feel a cold breeze, and you can see darker clouds gathering on the horizon. I felt the winds and the water stirring my entire life, it was never truly a pink sandy beach. Like a snap of thunder, a brutal divorce triggered the storm that has shaped my life. It completely unearthed me and threw me into the deepest darkest waters of my life. The family I knew and loved was ripped apart, I no longer had my Mom, my Sister, or my Dad. I felt alone, and that I was drowning. I listened to horrible things and allowed myself to lose sight of that pink sandy shore of my life. I had to dive down to the ocean floor to escape it, I despised who I was for a time, and pushed almost everything good out of my life until I could no longer breath. I tried to swim but didn’t know how. I needed help. I had a life guard with me through it all. He kept me from drowning. Every time I was on the sea floor, drowning in tears and screams after horrible phone calls that shredded me from my Dad, he was there. He held me, and soothed me, and sheltered me from the storm. He helped me learn how to swim again.
When we moved back to Washington I could feel the returning tide approaching, I had lots of panic moments, being afraid of the water and allowing my old fears to drive me back into doggy paddle mode. But I was not alone. I had my Mom back in my life, my life swim coach. I had my sister again, who reminded me that what we endured was not small. And we got to rebuild our relationship and learn to swim again together. My life guard was with me, and oh so patient. This time, slowly, I started to swim, I could see through the rough waters better, the salt water started to sting less, and I was stronger.
I love to swim, I can power through rising waves, riding them on the top or diving underneath them. The sea floor is no longer an escape but a base to launch off of and shoot to the surface.
Those rough seas that tossed me and made me lose my breath were preparing me and training me for the rest of my life. Life will always have highs and lows. I have learned to look forward to them rather than be afraid. I get to be stronger with each rising and falling wave, I get to learn new ways to swim through new and unfamiliar waters.
I’d like to think I am a pretty strong swimmer now, in fact I would say I have started surfing this past year. Diving into loving myself, which allows me to love everyone around me even more. The physical evidence of truly loving me, is painting and creating.