Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Tides

The Arches, Northern Peninsula Newfoundland

Early last week I received an email with a request and in the email a reference was made to tides. The person wrote that she thought that I would appreciate the imagery of high and low tides.  She also referred to the gradual wearing down that a tide eventually effects.  When I responded to the email I replied that the tide is fabulous imagery, as one never knows what treasures will be revealed in the low tide.  It was a fun banter back and forth between a land locked prairie person and an Atlantic Canadian, who had just returned from a trip east.  It was also interesting as one of the conversations that I had been a part of in Newfoundland was about how the tides were wearing away the cliff near a home and how many feet of land had eroded over a specific number of years.

The banter and imagery set me to thinking about the tide.  It is an imagery that I have played with in my mind these last few weeks. Tides for people living on the sea/ocean shores become a part of life. They often go unnoticed unless they are going to affect whether or not you can do something or it seems to be coming in higher than normal.  Houses near the shore were often built to accommodate the high tides.  The tides eventually erode cliff sides, smoothly finish rocks and glass. The tides take a toll on sea life and people alike.  The tides wear things away and smooth off rough edges. The tides come high and low.  The high washes away remnants on the shoreline and the low reveals the treasures that wash ashore.  The tide holds mystery, balance, power.  It washes away the old and reveals the new.

Life is much like the tide.  It has its highs and lows and each experience shapes us slightly differently, smooths off or gives us rough edges.  Each experience reveals something about us and inevitably alters us in some slight way.  I suppose what we really need to consider is how we will let the tides of life affect us.  Life tides, like ocean tides, come whether or not we are ready for them. Transformation takes place both within and without, we are altered in a deep and meaningful way.  However we do not always appreciate the changes when they are happening to us.  It is only with the benefit of time that we often appreciate the tides of our lives and what has been changed, revealed, washed in or out.

Tides perform gradual transformation, for the most part, and at times we barely notice that the changes have occurred,  I suppose that what we have to ponder is what the tide takes away and what the tide reveals.  There are losses that must be endured and treasures yet to be revealed.

E. J. Pratt

It took the sea a thousand years,
A thousand years to trace
The granite features of this cliff,
In crag and scarp and base.

It took the sea an hour one night,
An hour of storm to place
The sculpture of these granite seams
Upon a woman’s face.

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