have you ever wondered where each wave originates?

me and Koda, contemplating the nature of waves. photo by Jennifer Picard Photography.

have you ever walked along a beach and wondered where each wave came from?

i do, all the time.

i watch the waves and wonder, did it come from a whale that jumped and then made a great splash? or was it from a tiny rock someone threw, that simply grew and grew, until its ripples finally reached me and you?

maybe the wave had its start when an eagle's talons pierced the water's surface as it caught a fresh fish, or maybe it started from a dog who dove off a dock to fetch a stick.

or did the wave begin when the hull of a giant ship crashed through the great big blue? or maybe it was once a tiny drop of rain that hit the water and then propagated outwards, growing larger and larger in concentric circles, until it finally had nowhere else to run.

perhaps the wave came from the wind, from the very same breeze that had blown through the trees and had given flight to wee little bumblebees.

each wave is in fact an expression of energy, transferred from an originating source that left its rippling mark on the water.

so while the ocean may be the medium, the wave is its expression.

waves are the infinite and inspired art that emanate from their source. no two are the same. each wave is unique, each a perfect collage of cause and effect, each molecule of water merging with the next in an ever-flowing liquid form.

it’s the ocean's nature to wave.

it needs no reason. that’s just what it does — it ripples, it curls, it surfs, it swells, it tides, it crests, it breaks, it waves — and then it wanes.

but we don't mourn for a wave once it crashes upon the shore. while the wave may be no more, we know its water still remains. it only merged with its original essence.

it flowed, it danced... and then it waved goodbye.

we don’t presume a wave is dead, nor do we have any need to grieve. deep down, we know each wave will someday rise again. in the meantime, it's essence will continue to flow.

as i walk along the beach and watch the water lap its shore, all i can think of is how similar we are, to both the water and its waves.

to paraphrase Zen philosopher Alan Watts, just as the water will always wave, and just as the apple tree apples, so too will the earth always people — this is its nature.

this is its expression of the energy we call life.

brian thompson