Tide is out … WAYYY out! It is early evening and the end of day is drawing near. The beach is empty and a string of oval white buoys designating safe swimming boundaries lies in a wobbly line over mud flats. In the middle of the beach stands a small white sign warning people to STAY OFF MUD FLATS since there is a risk of getting stuck while tide is out. Well beyond this sign is a large area of land that is often invisible, immersed under ocean waters.
As the sun sinks slowly down the horizon toward distant mountains, an elderly gentleman prepares to launch himself for an evening canoe paddle. Alone, he carries a sizeable vessel overtop his shoulders that stretches much farther than his tall physique. Like a great blue heron, his legs are noticeably long with spindly legs. His body is adorned with a light yellow life jacket and feet with bright orange rubbery clog-style crocs which seem to flex as naturally as birds feet, never gripping his soul (sole)! They support him very well as he meanders about searching moment by moment for the best path to the waters edge. At times his feet do sink down leaving visible chunks of mud around his soles but this never inhibits him. In no time, he reaches the water and skillfully lowers the boat, half into the water and half out. He then lifts the rear without an ounce of sternness, pushes the boat out, quickly steps in, nestles into his seat and rhythmically paddles away towards the mountains! The sun has now sunk low enough to reflect thousands of glistening jewels on the waters surface. Tide is now coming back in with gentle ripples moving inwards creating a soothing melodic sloshing sound in the environment. As the mud flat gradually disappears, so too does the elderly gentleman floating off into the sunset.
Humans and nature are astonishing forces. Just as tides come in and out in their own natural rhythm, humans grow and expand themselves in their own way and time. Despite warning signs about the mud flats, the elderly gentleman confidently followed his instinctual knowing and successfully traverse the flats while carrying a heavy vessel. He may have spent most of his life in ocean environments and had years of experience exploring the natural world, coming away with lots of inherent knowledge that is not visible to the naked eye. The lesson here is for all of us to be mindful about personal safety in the natural world. Use your intuition and intellect when deciding the best choice for yourself. If you wonder about things, research credible resources and expand your knowledge base. Follow what feels inherently right for you in the moment and stretch your wings when you are ready to do so!
“Heaven gives, Earth receives and allows to grow, Man accomplishes. Only a man in perfect accord with himself, in perfect sincerity, can go to the limits of his own nature.” – Francois Cheng