Life is like living in a tide. The ebb and flow of time and events though sometimes gentle are often just crashing and hurried. How often we seek to just bob along on the surface. This seems easier as no deep swimming effort is required, you can easily change course, not too much commitment here.
I made a random stop at my parent's house today expecting to give my mother something that she needed and then fly on my way, surfing on the top of the wave of getting a million things done 3 days before Christmas. Ironically my mom doesn't sit around and wait for my visits but I did get to spend a little time with my dad. I always try to honor these special opportunities and give them the time and attention they deserve before speeding away to the next thing.
We talked for a while and then moved toward the door, dad walking and talking with me, reluctant to bring the time to an end. He started talking about my grandmother, his mom, who just turned 99 years old. As you can imagine she has some health concerns and these were the subject of our conversation. In that sliver of time in the tide of our lives, as dad was sharing his heart about his mom, I got a glimpse of the heart of this man I love so dearly. Through his eyes, misted with emotion, I could see his care and compassion for his family, the pain and understanding he has gleaned about the hard and unfair times through his various life experiences, the frustration and helplessness of being human and far away from the people you love, and perhaps even some fear and uncertainty.
In that tiny sliver of time in the tide of our lives we moved to a deeper, calmer, warmer place. Gone is the bobbing and rush; safe for now from any future brewing storm. This is a good place, a place that does not breed regret for time and opportunity lost - a gift. Take a deep breath and submerge yourself into the deep things of life and relationship. Words from one of my favorite songs come to mind, "Before you can swim you've got to be ok to sink." Swimming is good, necessary even, but its the sinking where the richness of life dwells.