Waves lapping gently against a lakeshore, or crashing against the beach, surging inward and outward, fascinate and invite us in to dip our toes, swim, play tag with the swells, or throw ourselves facefirst onto a boogie board and ride the foam onto the sand.
I love living in a state that is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, and I love visiting states that are bordered by the ocean. Visiting Hawai'i has been a dream come true for my daughters, as I shared in my post, "Under the Sea" a few days ago. They love the water. And I would post pictures, but it seems that most of the time we are in the water, we are all in the water with no exceptions. We love jumping in it, splashing in it, swimming in it, riding the waves on boogie boards, or even just body-surfing (throwing ourselves into the surf without a board). We've all been pounded and rolled under the waves against the sandy beach, gotten saltwater in our eyes, and after a breather, have gone back for more and more.
This isn't a pic of us, it's a general boogie boarding pic:
But this post isn't just about ocean waves and water. It's also about the kind of waves that surge and swell through our lives, and the stories that we write.
Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. It sounds simple, but the best stories have layers of complexity in emotion, action, and relationships. Every main character experiences layers of waves throughout her/his story, some of the waves criss-crossing as they crash to the shore. For example, in a book I happen to love, and my daughters happen to love, Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George, the main character Creel experiences many wave layers in her story.
Creel seems very much alone at the beginning of her story, except for her brother. She has been orpaned by illness, and mistreated by her foolish Aunt who hopes to gain prestige by setting Creel up with the local nobility. Of course, Creel's Aunt's idea involves setting Creel up as bait for the local dragon.
So, there are at least two waves criss-crossing each other at the beginning of the story - both an emotional wave and a suspense/action wave, criss-crossing into each other and building into a larger swell, that foams up gently the shoreline of the story as the dragon Theoradus puts Creel at ease . . . in an unexpected turn of events. Creel saves the dragon from the annoyance of having to battle the noble lord, she learns some things about dragon, and she gets to pick out a piece of the dragon's treasure, a pair of slippers that will complicate the story with new waves of action, emotion, relationships, and complexity.
I could go on in this example, but I don't want to spoil a great story.
In real life, our lives our filled with different waves surging in and out, criss-crossing, building on one another, or pulling against each other in a way that creates bigger waves. When one large wave pulls out, and another wave surges in, there is the greatest possibility for a painful pounding into the sand or a great ride on the top of the surf.
Waves of Blessings:
1. Catching the top of the wave at just the right time to float swiftly into the shore just at the edge of the foam.
2. Warm waves that buoy us up and set us down gently.
3. Waves surge into the beach continually, so we know that when we miss one, another one will come.
4. When the waves pound us into the gritty sand, roll us over and over under the water, or fill our noses with saltwater, we can find our footing and get up again.
5. Playing chase the waves, especially with kids, or watching a small child play chase the waves. Their smiles and giggles of delight are wonderful upswellings of joy.
6. The crash, and swoosh sounds of waves against a sandy ocean beach.
7. The trickling, drumming sound of waves tumbling rocks against a rocky beach.
8. The roar of the ocean wind.
9. The feel of wave-water against skin, whether it's cold or warm, it feels as delicious as chocolate tastes. I'm not sure how to describe it well enough. As soft as silk doesn't even begin to do it justice.
10. The surge of our oceans' waves is one of the most unique parts of our world. Our tides make life possible, not only for marine life, but for us. Our oceans are precious gifts to us from our Lord, the Creator of the Universe.
"And God said, 'Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.' And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:9-10