For as long as I can remember, I have found that nature is full of symbols that represent some of life’s biggest nuggets of wisdom. What a cool thing – it's like Mother Earth is speaking to us all the time, through metaphor, to remind us of who we truly are.
One image that is occurring to me a lot these days is that of waves upon the ocean. When we observe the rise and fall of waves, a comparison can be drawn to the individual self and its relationship to the primal source of Life represented as the ocean. So, consider a human being, like a wave, is born into existence, and is linked to other human beings through a dynamic and ever-changing flow of interconnected relationships. As I think about my own experience, I can acknowledge that my relationship to the world around around me in all its forms, is always-changing, ever flowing -- a relationship that is also impacted by my thoughts, words, actions.
Like most of us, I have been thinking a lot about the pandemic lately and considering the existential lessons it may be teaching us. With this in mind, I think of the virus as representing, in a far more menacing way, what the image of waves can teach us. For it is the virus, with its relentless and unscrupulous spread, is reminding us how we all share the same planet and that, beyond race, beyond nationality or socioeconomics we are all but one community and species.
How potent this lesson feels especially when heard in the context of the rising tide of nationalism across the planet and division among so many groups of people. Our borders, our flags and our national self-interest are all but illusion in the face of a microscopic life form that jumps oceans and continents reminding us that we are all vulnerable.
One might think that the oceans would serve as a constant reminder us of this connection but of course, we have forgotten how the ocean links us all together on a macro and micro level. We can remember by imagining that a plastic bottle dropped in a river in Japan may likely end up along the California Coast. But we, as creatures of habit and convenience, tend to forget this.
And, just as the waves of this pandemic rage throughout our country and the world, we can take solace from other another image. While there is surface of the sea may be stormy, there is always calm down deep beneath the waves.
I hope and pray that this time, of slowing down, can be reminded of the calm that does exist within all of us. If we just take a moment to stop, find some silence and realize our connection to something greater than ourselves.
Too bad it’s come to this to remind us of what we have always known but soon forget.
We are all waves upon the same ocean.
What wonderful news for every one of us.
We have the power to change the world, by remembering that we are all connected.