Winter in the Midwest is a little long. Our fleet is tucked away for the season of Hunkering Down. Our bodies, like our boats, become vessels for ultra cold matter. Everything within and around us takes a time-out and seems to pause. As the Mercury dips we have less energy to move about. It’s a quiet season. We gather around hot soup and blazing hearths. Winter is the time of books with many pages, layers of clothing, brisk walks, chills, shivers, and a sense of loss because warm sunshine has forgotten us. Looking at deep and silent snow after a blizzard it seems that everything is at rest.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Nature never rests.
There are scientists whose life work involves trapping and cooling atoms to absolute zero. Much like the Norwegian Helmer (“Helly”) Hanssen, they are explorers of the deep cold ranges in our world. Ultra cold atoms are gateways to new fields of exploration involving infinitesimally small particles found in color, light, stuff, and all living things. These particles are a primary source of motion in the universe yet they are minuscule and can never be observed directly. Scientists use complex mathematics about the ultra cold to learn how it works. They’ve discovered that everything, down to the sub atomic level, is eternally in motion thus anything that matters is perpetually changing.
All of the atoms, cells, bones, and organs that compose human bodies move constantly in the form of waves. A wave is a type of motion that’s described as a phase that takes place over space and time. Essentially, we’re in a continuous state of disequilibrium, always moving, always seeking stability that doesn’t really exist. We’re surfing the universe on the waves of time and light.
Just ask a teacher to describe a classroom of pubescent middle schoolers and you’ll learn more than enough about waves and human development. Teachers know that the wave effects on human development are chaotic, seemingly random, and transformative.
Surfers intuitively sense that they at one with waves – and that waves are part of their core being. Surfers use their understanding about the speed and length of waves in order to ride the lip or fly off a crest. The wave energy within us creates a flow of changes that affect how we move and where we go, physical and emotional growth, and the transformative life phases we surf from birth through death. Ripples to tsunamis – sooner or later the waves crest, grow quiet, evaporate or reach a shore. Waves within kids crest, barrel, and crash as they breakdown the shores of childhood and build up the coastlines of adulthood.
During winters when warm air drapes itself over cold water the conjoining forces bring forth fog. As the air temp plummets, tiny water droplets huddle together according to the rules of ultra cold and form hoarfrost. Standing aboard our boat we can’t see where we’ve been or what lies ahead. If we look closely at where we stand in this moment, we can learn new things that will allow us to discover the kind of person we could become this new year. We are energy, connected to light, and always in motion. The days will get longer so don’t be afraid to chill out and keep moving.