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If I Had Waited for the Tide to Rise

   "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.

   Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!           

If I had waited for the tide to rise I would not have had to trudge through mud with my kayak in tow, fearing I would disappear deep into the cold mushy blackness beneath.

I admit there was a sinking suspicion.

Had I waited things might have been different. 

My feet would have stayed clean, dry and warm. 

The kayak would have glided smoothly across the water rather than getting stuck several times, forcing me to drag it through the mud to deeper depths.

Kayaks do not require deep water to float but any less than six or so inches is too shallow a depth. Boats gets stuck when water is too shallow.

It would have been easy to wait. The tide would come in as expected and deeper waters would have allowed me to easily launch.

But I have always been impatient. I wanted to be out on the water on this January 1 morning that was sunny and uncommonly warm. I wanted it - come heaven or low water. 

Sometimes we are forced to wait. 
We wait long months for babies to come into the world. We await the return of lovers from afar. We watch and wait as loved ones prepare to breathe their last breaths. We wait to receive news we would rather pretend we never heard. 

Had I waited things might have been easier, smoother, possibly perfect even.

Yet had I waited that January morning for the tide to rise I might have missed the chance to visit a distant shore to explore mysterious shiny objects washed up with the tide. 

I would have missed some precious and sacred moments.
The fallen pine that, having long ago lost its needles, has become an oyster tree. 

The pine cone, half its cones missing, yet somehow beautiful in its petrified blackness after resting for God knows how long under the water.

Silver and gold colored oyster like shells resembling angel wings.

The sparkling sunlight dancing on the surface of our beloved bay.

The placid splendor of the quiet morning mirrored in the stillness of the water.

For a brief moment I wondered what would happen if the tide did rise and swept away my boat and I was stranded on that island all alone. What then?
Yes, I could have waited. I could have waited and things could have been very different, perhaps even easier.

But that's not my way. I can be stubborn like that. I might get that from my Dad who almost singlehandedly rebuilt our burned down house in record time because he believed it could be done. 

He could have taken an easier way but he had a mission and he knew it was possible.
He had an unshakable faith that both worried and astounded family and close friends.

Sometimes life calls for wading through a little mud when we know deeply in our hearts we are called to something great.

A little mud can be a small price to pay for glorious moments.

Years ago when my husband and I made the decision to start a business, leaving behind the comfort of steady salaries, several people made sure we knew there was serious risk involved. "You know most businesses fail in the first year," one well meaning friend generously shared. That first year was lean and challenging but we did not fail and we wouldn't trade the lessons learned working side by side. 

I can remember complaining a bit to my Dad during this time and his advice was "If you're going to do this then you need to wear it on your underwear." I never forgot his advice. And my underwear has never been the same.

Perhaps the mud's no less important than the smooth sailing. A full meaningful life will include some of each.

I am grateful for both.

I want to feel the mud between my toes and the fear of being engulfed and even the threat of being alone on that island. I want to explore new shorelines, witness luminous mornings and sunshine dancing on the water and old fallen trees finding new purpose. For me this is heaven. Shallow water will not stop me.

Sometimes action is called for or shorelines are covered over, the light less brilliant. We must work some to find more depth.

I can be stubborn like this. I sometimes go against the flow and it can be challenging. But mostly it has been worth it, cold muddy feet and all.

Happy Healthy New Year Friends!


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