The Tides of Light

The sky is swept clean of clouds, and likewise swept of warmth, the breezes that chase through the treetops scurrying the warmth away from the ample light. I have spent the last five days or so without focus or fire, an ebb of purpose, and I say to myself now, in all seriousness, that I should find a better way to make use of those small seasons when I lose my sense of direction. Which is of course an impossibility, a contradiction, a cruel joke of my own thought patterns.

The best tactic at such times would be to relax into the fog, to observe the shifting mists, to sink into the ebb and know the tide will come back in. To trust that. But I am not so skilled at trust, I freak out a little bit, resist the pull of the outgoing tide and very near drown myself in the process. I stumble about and take pride in the fact that at least I managed to vacuum the whole house.

These words are much easier to write, this story to tell, now that the tide is coming back in. I marvel sometimes at my humanness, the biological certainty of that lens, that rainy days will fog my purpose―and winter’s shortest days even more so. Certainly the season, as a holiday, exists for this very reason. And yet I will judge myself harshly for falling into this pattern, this ebb of purpose and energy, as if I were a failing machine, not a warm mammal that treasures sunlight and warmth for obvious biological reasons.

I think I’ll ask the wind that is so busy chilling my fingers as I write to strip away this thought pattern, this equation of productivity is purpose, the same as it strips away the warmth from the light. Tear the flags of productivity down, wind. I can do without that buzz, without that warmth. Take what you will, that’s my offering.

Because we aren’t machines, stamping out products for consumption. We are animals. We are woven together in the predictable chaos of tides, we descend and return again, with stories to tell and songs to sing. It’s the wind and the cold that come to remind us of that, time and again.

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