Thursday, August 1, 2013

The tide knows what time it is

Being at the beach magnifies the difference between our modern way of life and our more primitive selves.
For eons, we have lived our lives governed by the sun, the moon, the seasons, the tides, and the waves.  Our internal clocks and our biorhythms are attuned to this.
At the beach, we start to regain some of that.  The sun, the clouds and the wild influence us.  The waves and the tide become part of our day.  We nap when we are tired, not when our favorite TV show is over.  Our skin is warmed by the sun, the hair on our arms moving with the wind.  Our feet feel the earth, become buried in it, one with it.  We enter the water and are enveloped by mother nature, surrounded by the water that gave us life, rising and falling with the waves, the tide, and the currents.

And yet, as I look about the beach, I see smart phones everywhere, people talking, texting, emailing. Nature and family about them, yet they are pulled by technology to Face Book.  We struggle in our return to our natural roots because it has become foreign to us.  It sets up a conflict inside us.

I feel the conflict inside me.  I love my smart phone at the same time I hate it.  The convenience of instant communication, of my calender always being there, is undeniable.  But the convenience also means interruptions at inopportune times.
It means a preoccupation with time itself.
McDonald's workers are judged by the time ticking on the drive through window clock.  Hospital workers are held accountable, not for being at work on time and caring for patients well, but on not being even one minute late or staying a few minutes late to finish up charting, or taking too long to move a patient from the ED to the floor or discharge them to home.
That conflict, that pressure, leads to so many of our modern problems.

The tides know no such time pressure, and yet they keep perfect time.

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