Living "down the street" from the ocean and being literally surrounded by it for so long has inevitably led me to draw parallels and analogies from it's constant presence. There's a wave for every emotion.
Yes, I really make these sorts of personal comparisons. And I love it. Eat your heart out transcendentalists!
But really, most days are a calm, flat summer in Oahu for me. The occasional rolling tide of excitement or random upset. All is crystal clear and promising.
I think we all have our choppy days-- murky water and ugly breaks. No one wants to get in and frolic around with you because you're hard to be with and too much work.
I'm never a gigantic, angry tsunami. My in-laws might disagree after living with me as we waited for our place to be built and I figured out how to manage two very young children in cramped quarters all together all the time. My bouts of anger are brooding and simmering, but quickly crash, devastating all in my wake until a gentle tide brushes everyone away, only to gather those who wish to remain safely in for a smaller set until peace remains.
But today I felt out of sync all day. There was no gentle pull and exhilarating crash. No give and take. No patterned tide to ride out until calmer waters returned once more. My children floated along, helpless to my crash, eager to return to rhythmic tides.
I was too.
So I paddled along remembered courses. Cuddle everyone up with a favorite movie, draw with chalk outside, clear the main room of clutter... but still uncertain waters billowed all around as the swirling, insistent current surged and tugged around me. Treading water at this point, I commanded my ship and drove the little ones far away for a day out. Stroke by stroke we paddled through familiar places and sailed on carefully. Safety on the horizon.
Until the drive home got too long and Ambrose's persistent requests to go to the beach became too many. Even though it was almost dinnertime I pulled off at Kekela where we drew a long, winding track in the sand with the heel of our slippers. It was getting cooler and the salt air was crispy on our faces as we finished creating the course. With the waves roaring on our right, as if cheering us on, I loaded Asher on my back like cargo, Ambrose held tightly to my left hand and we ran and we ran and we ran. Soles padding, faces laughing, heart pumping in and out-- gentle pull and exhilarating crash.
Asher's tiny arms still clung tightly around my neck as I sunk down into the sand, my legs alive from the race, and breathed heavily with relief. Ambrose grabbed my face in both his hands and exclaimed, "I win! I want to go camping with you! Let's invite dad! I want to race again!" He was happy and babbling every free associated thought that occurred to him in an excited sequence that matched my relief. Asher, cuddled up on my back like a little sea lion with his mama, giggled in my ear and kissed my cheek and the rhythm of the waves echoed in our ears as we brushed off the sand and headed for home.