Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What is the meaning of the rising tide

Many folks search my journey oracle website looking for the meaning of the rising tide because some years ago I posted a blog containing this teaching story from my oracle cards.


When the tide begins to recede the surface of the water flattens slightly, as if the earth were holding these messages of coming loss close to her heart. Forms become distinct first as watery hummocks and then as shells and stones spangled with liquid shimmer. Periwinkles and crabs trail lines of wanderlust in the slowly drying sand. In high summer one feels like the beach becomes abandoned to torture by a sun that is no longer a guardian in this place. In the raking light of a moon bright night in deepest winter the whole surface of the beach is moving. The tiniest of creatures have their power sparkling like the largest, glittering with a longing of memory for the water that had been there before, but now is gone.

When the tide begins to turn there is a swelling along the leading edge, as if the water has grown plump with waiting. In the sullen heat of a golden-edged afternoon, the returning water hisses slightly as it bubbles around pebbles and fills up the depressions that are the front doors to the hideouts of ghost shrimp and clams. What was a mottled grey strip of sand suddenly becomes a sculpin, flashing out to meet the flowing in tide. Starfish clinging in the shadowed underside of beach rocks seem to soften their grip slightly when the water meets their pitted purple skins, as if the rising tide were a signal to let go a little in a life whose main skill is holding on.

Only when the tide is several inches deep will the barnacles venture out with their feathered arms beckoning, only when the certainty of deep water arrives will the oysters open their frilly edged homes to greet what is coming to be the break in their fast.

No creature on the beach expects delays; waiting for the tide to turn is not empty hoping, but inner certainty.

The rising tide has great meaning in my life here on Cortes Island because as well as make drums and create shamanic paintings of nature, I am an oyster farmer . When the rising tide appears as an image in my dream interpretation or emotional healing, I think it is about trust and certainty. About knowing that I cannot hold back what is going deeper. When I let go into the flow of the tides in my life, I break free from wanting to cling to what appears safe, and instead remember that only by moving with the current will I be fed.