Friday, January 11, 2013

Crashing waves and kindred spirits.

Kindred spirits are not so scarce
as I used to think.
It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.
- L.M. Montgomery

I stood for a very long time, watching the waves release their energy on the ancient shore. The tide was high and the rocks, still above the surface waters, received the full brunt of each successive roller. The kinetic energy of the moving water was explosive, transforming itself into chaos, sound, and frenzy. Each impact turned the grey sea into a turbulent bubbling froth that boiled and swirled.

Then...brief moments of respite.

Successive waves, following a similar pattern, threw their weight against the immovable object. The granite remained, steadfastly reflecting the charging sea water, high into the air, to be transported by the off-shore wind. 

In my life, I have known similar “ocean waves”. Most of us probably have. Whether predicted or arriving on our life's "shores" as a complete surprise, they can wear us down, creating ever-widening cracks in our hopes and dreams. An anxiousness threatens our peace of mind and we find ourselves moving forward, feeling lost and alone, into a perceived future that doesn’t even exist. 

But we need not go there.

I think of so many individuals I have known over the years. In the face of life’s seemingly endless “rollers”, they were able to hold their position. They faced each and every successive wave with a determination nurtured through deep roots grounded in family, friends, or perhaps a faith in something greater than themselves. They may also have been encouraged by those they have never met, but where there has been a connection made possible by - a kindred spirit.

The kindred spirit grounds and roots and encourages. It soothes and lightens our load and gives lift to our lives. The fact is, it’s all around us and can arrive on our “doorstep” in surprising and wonderful ways - and often at just the right time.

That’s something I’ve discovered time and time again, in reading so many blogger's postings. Most of us have never met, and perhaps never will. We may know very little about each other except in the context of what we share - but somehow, so often, we discover ourselves to share a kindred spirit. And it goes beyond sea kayaking, or hiking, or whatever passion we may feel called to write about.

People reach out to one another, with care and compassion, offering the lessons learned in shared experiences. There are words of encouragement, direction and strategy…hope. To both give and to receive requires vulnerability and courage. That courage is clearly evident.

In a world filled with all too much loneliness and struggle, the presence of the kindred spirit can heal, comfort and strengthen.

And knowing that that "spirit" it is already here, in this strange and wonderful medium, offers a warm feeling.

A very warm feeling, indeed.


Both images above are from near the place we affectionately consider our "second home", by the North Sea.

L.M. "Maud" Montgomery, a Canadian author from Prince Edward Island, is best known for her series, Anne of Green Gables.


  1. Hi Duncan and Joan,

    Another thouthful and thought-provoking post - thank you!

    Perhaps another feature of the waves and rollers (both littoral and in a life context) is if they are borne, accepted and endured; one result is a gentle smoothing of the rough edges?

    Warm regards

  2. You make such a good point, Ian. I remember the lovely polished pebbles on the beaches,, below the cliffs, near Arbroath. They endured the crashing seas for thousands of years Their beauty is deeply touching. Thanks so much. Very best wishes from Joan and I. Duncan.

  3. Hi Duncan, As the quote you included suggests, I too have found (almost without even looking) that there are many kindred spirits in this world. If this technology helps us all find one another, then it is a beautiful thing. Thanks! :-) Gen.

  4. Indeed it is, Gen, just as the shared experiences and perspectives that come from time on the water or on the trail enrich the paddling or hiking community, equally so does the shared experience of "life". Kind of like a "trip report / review"! :) Thank you for your comment. Duncan.

  5. Hi Duncan and Joan,
    What a wonderful blog. They are all wonderful.
    Hope you both had a good Christmas season.
    Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and experiences.

  6. Thanks for your kind words, Jen. We're always glad to have you along and appreciate your interest. Warm wishes to you and Doug and family. Duncan and Joan.

    Always appreciate your perspective, Lee. Keep us posted and keep on writing. Cheers. Duncan.