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Life Lesson from Waves

Updated: Mar 4

I am a wave

Low waves approaching the shore
You and I are waves.

Rob and I go to Cosy Corner for a walk and picnic dinner. Skies are light grey, the wind mild. The Southern Ocean is unusually quiet today. Waves are shallow, ending in soft, hissing rushes across the sand. They tickle the shore, rather than storm it.

The beach isn’t crowded. A white terrier fossicks around the feet of a long-legged woman striding ahead. A young couple stagger along, their intertwined limbs almost tripping them up. A fisherman. A family of swimmers. And us. And, of course, the waves.

What do these waves teach me?

In a BBC film The Secret Life of Waves, David Malone explains the science and mathematics behind waves, and their similarity to me. He says waves give us:

. . . a window into how the world actually works, the nature of reality, because waves have a life cycle. So, they’re quite unlike the things we think of as objects, like pebbles or cliffs. They have a birth and a death. They’re a process. And that makes them much more like us.

Malone explains that an ocean wave isn’t a thing; it’s a process. It’s a visible indication that energy is on the move. The universe is full of waves of energy, visible and invisible, which make it all work, make it happen, make things come and go.

Understanding waves reveals the processes that govern the universe and therefore govern our life too. Waves are about the transformation of energy. And so are people . . . Our lives are in continuous change . . .

Waves have a beginning, a middle and an end.

And so do I.

Through the process of energy transfer, I come, stay awhile, then go. Over time I dissolve and disappear. Just like a wave.

I tend to think of myself as an object, but, in reality, I’m energy in action, energy made visible.

I’m not a thing. I’m a process.

Malone quotes Heraclitus:

Everything flows and nothing abides, Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.

I walk the beach, musing on the visible and invisible waves of energy compounding and interacting to make the world I know.

A hundred years from now we beach walkers won’t be around. In a thousand years this coastline will hold a different shape. A million years, and nearby Mount Melville may have sunk beneath the waves.

Living with mindfulness

Every physical thing is a wave. A process.

I’m a wave. A process.

For some strange reason, sensing my life this way takes away fear.

There’s nothing I need to hold on to. My life is an inevitable process.

I’m a tiny part of an incredible process of flow.

And so are you.

With love, Marlane

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