Stress.

Today brought a lot. Of stuff. And as I felt my tension and anxiety rising – planning what to do and how to respond – I decided to hop on my bike. If I couldn’t stop my mind from spinning, I could at least let my legs catch up.

The great thing about living on an island is, go a reasonably short distance in any direction, and often gorgeous views await. Today was no exception. I turned down a previously unknown street and, beneath the cloudless sky, I could see the shimmer of water straight ahead. A tidal marsh, and it was clearly high tide.

I pedaled to the end of the street, then got off my bike and walked off the pavement, stopping about a foot from the edge of the softly lapping water. The ground beneath my feet was dry, loose dirt – not the kind of packed down earth accustomed to the ebb and flow of the marsh. The water of the vast pool ahead wasn’t going to reach me – but I had to have faith. How long did it take others before me to find their faith? To keep from packing up their earthly belongings or battening down the hatches every time the water seemed to surge straight for them? Sure enough, as I stood there, I could see the tide slow. Soon it would stop altogether and head back out to sea.

When the waves start coming in, it seems you can do one of three things: You can prepare for flight, you can get ready for a fight … or you can take a long, deep breath of salt water air and enjoy the view.

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One thought on “Stress.

  1. Claire says:

    A friend of mine and I use the phrase “but the restaurants are excellent” as a rejoinder to any hair-pulling or great frustration inducing moments in our work lives. But I like your use of the water (and ocean water no less). Horizons, tides, pluff-muddy smell. And breathing — always good — in through the nose, out through the mouth with the out breath twice as long as the in breath (or so I hear in yoga — it does require a lot of concentration and makes you light headed, both of which are better than stress).

    Like

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