Standing in the Surf

I was thinking today (well, ok, not just today) about how I’m having a difficult time staying on top of my life. I mean, bills come due every month.  EVERY month!  I just pay them, and BAM! It’s another month, and they’re due again.  And there are all these things that I have to do for my job (which is being a ministerial intern at a Unitarian Universalist church in the D.C. metro area, for those of you who didn’t know), and things that I have to do to get ready to see the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) in March, and things I need to do for school, and things I need to do in my house.

Oh, my house.  My room really does look like a bomb went off in here.  I’ve always been disorganized.  Outwardly disorganized, that is.  But right now my bedroom is out of control.  Ack!  I need to get it back.

Anyway, I was thinking that trying to stay ahead of all of this is like trying to stand up in the surf.  You stand up, and you just about get your footing, all the while the water is rushing all around you, and you turn and look, and, WHOA!  It’s another wave coming right at you!  They just keep coming.  Wave after wave.  And if you’re on a sandy beach, even if you get your footing, and you’re standing in what seems to be the right place for the moment, you’ll start to notice that the sand under your feet is shifting.  It’s going to take your feet right out from under you if you don’t move.

So you have to be vigilant.  I’m not talking about hyper-vigilance here.  Not the kind of vigilance where you can never relax or enjoy the view. No, I just mean the kind of vigilance where you just have to be aware.  Aware of your surroundings.  Aware of where you are in time and space.

Of course, not all surf is on a sandy beach.  There are rocky shorelines, as well.  These are my favorites.  Of course they are.  They combine some of my favorite things – rocks and water.

When I was a little girl we used to take our summer vacations in Kennebunkport, ME.  My dad and I would go down to “the rocks” – an area on the sound that we had to climb down to.  It was all smooth rocks – mostly small rocks polished by the surf, and then larger rocks that we could climb on. I learned early that we had to be mindful of the tide.  We could walk around.  We could climb.  We could take pictures.  We could even watch as the tide came in.  But we had to make sure we weren’t on the wrong side of the tide.

Once, my Dad did get caught out on the wrong side of the tide.  He was out on the far part of a jetty where the mid-section had been  busted up.  He was busy taking pictures, and didn’t notice that the tide was coming in and covering the center section.  He was stuck out on the jetty for a few hours.

So I’m noticing that my life is a little like that right now.  I’m not stuck out on the wrong side of the tide, but I’m noticing that the waves keep coming.

So now I know that I have to keep moving.  I don’t have to move at a frenetic pace. I don’t have to move wildly or without purpose, but I can’t just sit still.  I will drown in the tide if I just sit still.

To-do lists.  I’m finding that’s a bit helpful.  They keep me moving a bit.  They’re helping me to keep an eye on all the waves that keep coming in.  LIke bills.  Oy vey.  Did I mention that they keep coming every single month?

And I can still stop and sit on a rock for a while to watch the wonder of the crashing surf. It is awesome and wonderful.  And I’ll still be aware of where I am in time and space.

That’s my mite.  It’s all I’ve got.



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