Riding the Right Wave

27 May

The friend who taught me to surf once said something to me about waves that made me do a double take. “It’s like dating,” she said. “You want to catch a wave that is straight with no one else riding it.” And indeed, when it comes to waves, it is much easier to catch one if it breaks in a straight formation with nobody on it.

I pondered this today as I thought about how one actually catches a wave. For instance, there are many that simply don’t take. You can paddle and paddle but sometimes they don’t break right or your timing is off. You can exert effort but ultimately the art of catching a wave is really about timing – being in the right place at the right time. There is an organic, mysterious process involved that simply flows when all appropriate factors fall into place.

Personally, life and relationships are like riding waves. You can struggle and struggle and go through periods where nothing rides. And then suddenly, something unique happens and bingo. Cowabunga. But as I mused on all this today, I realized that we can’t expect to catch waves unless we get in the water, nor can we expect experiences to flow magically without ever risking getting wet in the first place.

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