The last two days of November in my area were abnormally warm with temperatures around or above 60°F, perfect for running, biking, and being outdoors, save for the rain showers that came along with the warm front. The sunset November 30 took my breath away as I ran and biked in the final rays. It was as if heaven had opened the clouds from a late day shower and poured in sunshine.
Wind and Waves
Conversely, the first day of December brought with it snow flurries, wind, and much colder temperatures. The high for today was 39°F, but it felt much colder because of the wind chill factor, or the apparent temperature felt due to a combination of temperature and wind speed.
Determined not to let the weather conditions ruin my late day run, I set out to battle the wind. As I ran, I could feel the cold air against my face, hitting like waves. Certain areas on my route felt colder than others, and I was glad to make a turn that put the wind to my back for part of my run.
Like the wind and the waves, my mind wandered back in time to an article I had read about the effects of apparent temperature on the human body. Though I had read the article as a teenager, I could see the page in my mind and a chart that indicated the difference wind speed had on actual temperature verses apparent temperature.
I recalled a time when I would not have run in windy or cold conditions, but luckily for me, I learned how to adjust my mind and how it perceived these conditions. My lessons started when my desire to run more collided like a wave with weather conditions. I told myself that there had to be a way, and that I needed to try harder and make some changes so I could fulfill my desire to run.
Moving Through the Waves
My quest led me through leaps of faith; extreme tests of my mind, body, and soul; and a few forays walking the fine line between determination and stupidity. The cycles of the seasons provided learning opportunities and ideas for making adjustments or changes to my running time, endurance, route, and schedule. Spring and summer were easy lessons, for they did not have the extreme conditions of fall and winter.
The seasons carried me like the waves carry whatever is in the ocean. Sometimes I was riding high and easily; other times I was battling to keep my head above the water.
Every time involved change to some degree. Small changes soon became routine, almost unnoticed, for I had learned to be more flexible, adjust quickly, and broaden my perspective. Other changes were more pronounced and profound, at times rattling my resolve. However, I trekked onward, learning to accept the good, bad, and everything else in between as time progressed.
Maturing Through Time’s Waves
I did not learn overnight how to determine, let alone accept, the changes life presented. It took more than a few failed attempts, a few muttered grumblings, and several dustings off after falling for me to see the light. Days are like tiny waves in the sea that throw us in different directions. Weeks and months resemble larger waves carried across miles of ocean before crashing to the shore. Years can be likened to cyclical patterns the waves make as the earth keeps turning.
Recently, a friend taught me a little about kayaking. She explained that most times, you need to deal with waves head on, or else the way will turn the kayak sideways and potentially upset the kayak, spilling you into the water. My friend also cautioned me about a different type of wave, one that comes at the kayak from both sides. With this type of wave, it is better to turn the kayak sideways, which technically makes you face one of the waves head on.
Contemplating my friend’s lesson for a moment, I said, “So it’s kind of like problems in life. If you face them head on, you are less likely to get turned sideways and veer off course, but if you turn away, they sneak up behind you and throw you for a loop.”
My friend smiled in agreement, “Yes, that is very true.”
May we be able to weather the waves of life and all the changes that are encountered along the way. May the water of the waves cleanse the mind, body, and soul so that in time, peace can be found.
Waves of the Sea
In the waves of the sea, the water spins around,
Foaming white in the breeze as time resounds
In the crashing of the water upon the shores
Moving on after, changing what was before
In the grains of the sand and the foam within
Percolating at natures command, rolling back out again
Only to come back to the shore
After rearranging the contents is has once more.
Wave after wave moves in and out,
Rising different yet the same and spinning throughout
The vast blue expanse of the ocean deep
Guided by nature’s hand and the rhythms that beat
Through the songs of life and the heart within
Chasing the dark of the night out and back again
So that at daybreak, the light of the sun
Allows the soul to create with reckless abandon.
In the waves of the sea and the river of time,
Change rises to meet the soul inside,
Challenging the body and the heart
To take what is seen and make a new start
Sometimes over and over again,
Other times only after time has been spent
Contemplating and reflecting and pondering every detail
Through musings and wanderings with and without avail,
Along the shores and the plains, the mountains and the valleys
Until at last the refrain of life’s song sings, “Peace!”
-Lisa A. Wisniewski
Resources and Related Links
Apparent temperature – https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/societal-impacts/apparent-temp/at
Wind chill chart – http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/windchill-images/windchillchart3.pdf
Wind chill factor – http://www.dictionary.com/browse/windchill-factor