In Norfolk, Nebraska, the flood control stream flows past the north edge of the downtown area. There’s a bridge on 1st Street that crosses that stream. At around 4:30 in the morning the other day, I walked across that bridge. I only stopped for a few seconds to watch the water cascade down the slight slope of the concrete spillway. At the end of that spillway, rough water boils around with plenty of small whitecap waves.
I got to thinking about my favorite metaphors that involve water and how I could write about them. I recently used the idea of streams and stream entry. It was time, now, to think about waves.
I immediately visualized the most obvious waves, the ones we’ve seen on a lake or at the ocean. I thought about surfers who have developed the skill to ride the tall waves of the incoming surf. I’ve met some surfers who’ve told me that surfing is a very spiritual way of life. I can imagine that it is. The surfers need to be completely focused and present in the moment if they want to be successful during their ride. Waves are very wild and unpredictable.
As I continued to walk, I looked to the sky and thought about all the stars and galaxies in my line of sight. The properties of light are described as either photons or waves. Light is difficult to really nail down. I pondered the Big Dipper and wondered how many hundreds of years it took for those lightwaves to reach earth. I also thought about our own star and wondered if the lightwaves from it could be visible to any beings on any planets orbiting the stars in the Big Dipper.
It came to mind that broadcasting stations emit radio frequency light waves. My voice has been converted to quite a few radio waves. They’re on their own way to stars in our own galaxy and beyond. I wonder if they will be decoded by machinery or creatures many years hence. Is there some equivalent of a radio or scientific radio antenna that will pick up those radio waves. I wonder what they will make of them.
My thoughts wandered back to the waves found on bodies of water. The human race has often been referred to as “The Sea Of Humanity”. Sometimes you hear that crowds arrive in waves at events. Football fans in a stadium sometimes perform “The Wave”. There are times when we are engulfed within a crowd and we feel a surge. Maybe you’ve imagined that you were a part of a wave at that time.
Several years ago, a gym buddy asked about my philosophy regarding life. I told him that it’s very simple. All living creatures are a part of the “ocean of life”. There have been and will continue to be millions of plants and animals. Each of them can be thought of as a wave. Some of them are tiny, some of them are huge. Some only last a short while, others go on and on. They arise from the ocean and return to the ocean.
It’s good to see waves and to be reminded of my philosophy now and again.
The Blue Jay of Happiness likes to ride on the waves of air currents in the sky.