In moments of peace and tranquility, it is difficult to imagine that there is any moment but this one. Walking on the sand at night, watching the waves crest gently, flow into the shore, catching glimpses of the moon reflected upon the foam or deeper within the water, spying a flash of glowing protoplasm sparkling in the darkness, we become mesmerized. The gentle push and pull of the wave, as it crashes down and pulls itself back out into the Ocean lulls us into feeling safe, secure – much like a baby being rocked in its mother’s arms.
Larger than our life, we feel our insignificance in the grander scheme of the Universe, and may take comfort in knowing that THIS Ocean is here, has always been here, providing a sense of predictability, a constant we can count on. In that moment we are oblivious of ‘sneaker waves’, a phenomenon terrifying in its power and finality. We hear stories of people up on rocks or out on a reef, watching the ocean, reveling in the sheer enormity of its power – snatched out of nowhere, carried off, never to be seen again. They are so rare that the horror eventually fades, amnesia returns, and once again we are lulled into a false sense of security.
Life can be like that. Striving to live simply, or productively, or honorably (or not) – and then a sneaker wave appears – robbing us of someone we love, changing something we felt was a sure thing, forever altering our lives in unexpected ways. We are happy when these sneaker waves bring good fortune (such as winning the lottery, or finding our soul mate), and call these moments ‘magical’ or blessings.
But sneaker waves that bring tragedy or misfortune (death of a loved one, loss of a job or our home) lead us to immediately sink to judgment of our selves, God, or others. Something must be to blame, how else can we explain it? We certainly aren’t going to view it as magical or auspicious.
Sneaker waves are simply that – neutral in their randomness, governed by a Force that is greater than us, whose purpose remains a mystery. Our job isn’t to solve the Mystery, or explain it away, we are simply (not easily) required to roll with the change, and become transformed in the process. Until the next wave appears (for good or ill).