Sometimes life feels like smooth sailing. Other times, life feels like you’re caught in a tsunami or stuck in an eddy. My life is usually fairly calm, and it’s easy to take that calm for granted. And there’s nothing better than a little turbulence to make me appreciate those smooth waters.
However, life isn’t supposed to be smooth sailing all the time. We inevitably encounter the occasional rough patch, vortex or even tsunami and may mistakenly believe that our lives are supposed to be smooth. Such disturbances are natural phenomenon in nature as well as our lives; they’re meant to be. Even so, my little eddy may seem major in the moment. In reality it’s not even minutia when compared to what’s happening in the world (war, starvation, disease, etc.) or the universe (black holes, celestial collisions, etc.).
Minutia aside, maybe there’s more there than meets the eye. In addition to making my life difficult on a certain day, profound good can also emerge from the chaos. Just as a forest fire makes room for new growth, life’s challenges have a tendency to clear out the detritus and make room for something new and better. I cannot usually control that turbulence per se, but I can try to ride that wave with my head above water, resist fighting and instead steer within the current, letting it carry me quickly and safely to smoother waters. Voila! Safely on the other side.
It’s not an easy or comfortable process but the wisdom I’ll gain from the experience will make it easier the next time ‘around’.
Besides, what choice do I have? It’s either that or drown.
While riding that wave, it’s hard to see the growth as it’s happening. I know it’s there because when I look back at my young self I see how much I used to struggle against things for which I had no control. I imagine my geriatric self will be similarly amused at my current quixotic endeavors, assuming I have any recollection of them at all. I can only hope that I will continue to grow in wisdom into my golden years. It’s a journey, vortexes and all, that I wouldn’t miss for the world.