|Bandon, OR Beach|
One evening while beach combing, I paused to watch a group of sea lions gathered in the swelling tide. Eyes trained on the youngest pup, I was mesmerized by his struggle to climb atop the slippery embankment where his mother perched precariously. My maternal instincts were tugged by his unfruitful tenacity, and part of me wanted to wade into the icy surf and boost him onto the oblong pillar. Fortunately my sanity prevailed. After all, if he, an able-bodied water creature, couldn’t do it on his own, what benefit would I, a moderate swimmer at best, be to him? Nonetheless, our natural instincts are often to reach toward those we momentarily consider less capable—children, clients, co-workers, strangers—while setting aside our own care and safety in the midst.
|Baby Reaches Mama (momentarily)|
Recalling this scene later, I asked the questions: How is this like my calling today? Will I clear my head enough to look around and inquire: What do I need? What next? What will bring me life, rest, joy, peace, and love? Even though my initial response was to rescue the striving pup, my deep resonance was not with him... I have done enough striving for a lifetime. Today I choose to wonder how I can rise up like the wizened matriarch, peer around, and allow the flow of life to gently carry me into the sea and off my own precarious perch.
My assessment is not that the mother sea lion is resigned to her existence, but rather she has learned the rhythms of her life and chooses to go with them rather than struggle against the raging tides. Her young pup expends his energy in his own natural (and necessary) process of maturation. Each are appropriate for their time and stage in life.