The world is connected by a body of water. We might be separated by the continents, but no matter how far away, no matter how distant the sea, connection is still connection.
I saw we are the same way. I say the same as the oceans have tides, so do we. We pull in and we pull out. Some days are calm, and some days our seas are rough. Such is life.
I think of the tides that rush in and the waves that crash along the shorelines.
The waves come in to quench the land, to wash the sediments along the shore, and then afterwards, the waves return to the sea.
I see this as a symbol of how Mother Earth breathes. Her chest is full when the tides are high and low when the tides move out.
We are this way too. We run hot and cold. We have troubled times. We move in with hopes to find a warm place in the sand. Sometimes we migrate, sometimes we pool, and sometimes we drift like an abandoned wave out at sea, hoping to find another chance to rise up and hit the shore again.
Decades ago, I was a little boy out at Fire Island, playing in the waves. They warned me about the undertow. They said I’d have to be careful; otherwise, I could drown.
The undertow is a current beneath the surface that moves in a different direction from the surface of the water.
They say this is why people drown. They say the undertow was strong here. They say this pulls people under from a force they could not see but only feel.
I say life is this way too. I say life has a subsurface that comes with a current beneath the surface, and if we’re not mindful, often enough, we can be swept away by the unseen force. If we are not careful, this can draw us into a life we never asked to have and drowns us in our own regret.
I say we need to be mindful of the undertow. I say we need to be mindful of the subsurface. We need to be mindful of the counter current of the times and the emotions we feel I say we need to be mindful of people too, because people have a way of pulling us in to their opinions and ulterior motives to have it their way; to take us away from the shoreline and if we’re not careful, to draw us out into troubled waters, which is where people drown i their regret.
I say that just like the world is connected by water but separated by the bodies of land, we are all this way too —we are connected in one form or another —the trick is to not have this connection pull us into the deep where one of us could drown. The trick is not to let our emotions carry us away or cause us to say something, which deep down, we really didn’t mean.
Of all things I know, the one thing I know most is that I cannot control the movement of the tides. I cannot control the temperature. I cannot calm the ocean when the seas become rough. I know this is true with all of my heart.
I also know there will be times when I want the sun to be out. I’ll want the sands to be warm and the waves to be gentle. And I’ll want this will all my heart. I’ll want this with all I have but no matter how much I want this, the one thing I know about the ocean and the weather is the two will not always follow my plan. And neither will people.
I cannot make the tides stay in any longer. Same as I cannot make anyone love me or like me or want me around —I cannot control what time the oceans recedes and head backs to sea.
I cannot change whether we live or die, rise or fall. All I can do is appreciate the times when the waters are calm and the surface of the sea is like a sheet of glass beneath a rising sun.
I can’t make anyone like me. I can’t change the past. I can’t stop what has already happened. I suppose in cases like this, I just wish for another chance.
Same as the wave that fell across the beaches at Point Lookout on Long Island cannot control whether they head south to crash upon the sands at the beach in Fort Lauderdale, I cannot say which way my fate intends me to go.
I can’t say if I will end up someplace warm or cold, if I will migrate, or if I will be at sea, hoping for another chance to rise up and crest again.
All I know is that I am connected to this. I always have been and I always will be.
I know that no matter where I am, no matter how far away I might seem; no matter what the weather is like or if the oceans are calm, murky, tumultuous, or flat, no matter how distant fate moves me away, I am now and will always be connected to you.
You are a part of me. You always will be. No matter what bodies come between us and no matter how the winds blow or where the waves crash, the truth will always be that you are a part of my heart.
I think life has an undertow. Arguments do too, which is why people say things they wish they could take back.
Sometimes the undertow pulls us away into troubled waters, which makes this hard to remember that the seas were not always mean and the weather was not always ugly.
Sometimes we are drawn in by the counter current and fall to the subsurface of emotion that pulls us away from where we really want to be.
I know that people are like tides. Sometimes they come in and sometimes they move out, never to be seen again.
All I know is that as I stand here upon my imaginary shoreline.
I am thinking about a walk I took on the first morning of the New Year with my little girl. Only, she’s not so little anymore.
I suppose here is where I take my own advice and remember that no matter how far the distance may seem, no matter the age or the time, we are still connected, and deep down, she will always be a part of me.