Tidal Shift

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Watching the shifting tide move in and out across the shore is a great reminder of the steady rhythm of change deep at the heart of our own lives. We know at some level that life is a flow of change and movement, and yet most of us somehow hang firmly onto the idea that our lives, our sense of self and our friendships are fixed and unchanging.
‘This is who I am, this is what I think’ we will announce to ourselves and the world, forgetting that this self, this world and everything in it changes moment by moment. Sometimes the changes are so tiny that we might not even notice them happening, and this pace of change most of us feel comfortable with. However there are times in all of our lives when change happens fast, unpredictably and unasked for, and that speed of change can feel very uncomfortable and disorientating.

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There is something very soothing about watching the tide go in or out over a shallow bay. The huge shift in the landscape can be seen moment by moment. You can watch little landmarks like rocks appear or disappear with the moving water volume. A whole world previously unseen can be revealed and then recovered in the space of less than 12 hours, and this world along the shoreline is rich with life which thrives in the constantly changing environment.
Perhaps it can offer us some clues about thriving within the inevitable changes within our own lives. Remembering that the water and the reflected views will return again with the twice daily tidal shift, we know that there will be another chance and that we needn’t fear the losses. We can be certain, that just like the beached boats, we will float again in the near future without having to do anything but wait. Our lives, like this tidal bay, will fill again even when we feel most empty.
A healing lesson from the ever shifting sea.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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43 Responses to Tidal Shift

  1. wildsherkin says:

    A beautiful message for us all. I have loved your posts from afar, Seonaid. Your Plockton series makes me want to pack up and go there. What lovely memories you must hold.

    • It really is a special place but best experienced slowly over several days….or a week….everyone seems to rush around so much now, catching just a moment here and there….I would love to visit your tranquil looking island too…I love islands, I think they’re in our blood πŸ™‚

  2. So beautifully, thoughtfully, and knowingly said. You speak the truth Seonaid, with care. D

  3. ventisqueras says:

    a very beautiful and interesting
    thank you so much

  4. Robin says:

    This is just what I needed to read this morning, Seonaid. Thank you. Your photos illustrate your wise words beautifully. πŸ™‚

  5. dadirri7 says:

    a perfect illustration for your wise words Seonaid, even though we arrived home yesterday I have not yet seen ‘our’ beach … hopefully today if health permits a walk … I brought cold and fever back from Paris 😦

  6. LB says:

    That is an incredibly dramatic tidal shift!! wow! I absolutely love your words “Our lives, like this tidal bay, will fill again even when we feel most empty”.
    Wonderful post!

  7. Many things seems to have a tidal quality, controlled by an unseen force, even blogging. πŸ™‚

  8. Your writing is always so inspirational, Seonaid. I love the wisdom which you share here on your blog. πŸ™‚

  9. Rachael Charmley says:

    Such a thoughtful post. Being close to the natural world, as we both are, gives us the opportunity to understand we are an intrinsic part of an ever changing environment, and that includes ourselves. I was listening to a TED talk last week about a man who believed we change all the time, ie. the being we were at birth or last year, or even yesterday, is different from who we are now. Of course it depends on who the ‘I’ is – but that aside – it is immensely freeing and inspiring to think in this way. Our natural environment has so much to teach us; it’s so sad that most people are alienated from it. Thank you πŸ™‚

    • I agree Rachael, it’s a very special gift to live near, and so experience, the tidal shifts of the ocean and the green earth. We do change all the time, but we choose not to notice…..yet it can be so soothing if we let that idea come into our thoughts. Every breath is new and fresh, never to be repeated, as is each moment of our lives. Nothing is ever truly repeated, and yet the patterns can repeat, layer after layer, like rings growing around a tree πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much for your thought provoking contribution to the idea of life as change πŸ™‚

  10. Suzanne says:

    Your words and photos are so calming here – beautifully written as always.

  11. colonialist says:

    A simple but profound observation. Our lives also go in cycles – whether due to astrology or simple biological rhythms, who can say. I have noticed, though, time and again how certain times of the year seem to produce periods best suited for me on things like creativity, productivity, innovation, or consolidation.

    • I find the same sort of rhythms Col, in winter during the short days, I am pulled more inwards to my inner world of dreams and plans…..during the long summer days I crave activity and movement through the earth and it’s green spaces πŸ™‚

  12. Dalia says:

    What a beautiful post and how well the pictures match. I have a tendency to stem against the tide at times, and it is so exhausting. Thankyou for the reminder. I especially love the picture with the stranded boats. Sometimes the tide does take you away from what you did earlier, and it just lays there waiting…

    • Indeed Dalia, and all the boats need to do is rest for a while, seeing the world from their new tilted angle….and after a while they will float again with no effort on their part! Trying to hold back the tides of change can be a very exhausting and ultimately fruitless exercise, taking a lesson from the seaweed, the anemones and the boats can help us relax into the flow πŸ™‚

  13. minerva says:

    A timely post with words that resonate for me as I reach an age where my kids are now adults and contemplate their future lives and I consider mine too. I would liken my life at the moment to be a bit like a boat bobbing on those waves going in and out – happily floating about one minute and grounded high and dry the next……
    Alison

    • A time of lots of change for you and your kids, and of course it can be unsettling, but the truth is that change has been happening year in and year out as they grew and developed….but the sudden space created by change like this can leave the scary freedom to re-create the shapes and rhythms of our lives πŸ™‚

  14. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Lovely, inspiring and soothing words Seonaid, thank you.

  15. I saw the tide for the first time when I was nine or ten, on a holiday to England with my family. I found it so fascinating, to see the boats standing on the ground. It was so odd to me, I couldn’t beleive that was just “normal”. I love your photos and how you connect the tide to changes in life. Thinking of change as a constant element makes it less scary.

    • Thanks for sharing your memories and thoughts stirred up by this post. It must have been amazing to see the tide for the first time….how wonderful and magical it must have seemed. Sometimes seeing things with fresh eyes like this helps us to see the wonder more clearly. I took it so for granted that I thought nothing much of it for a long time πŸ™‚
      Realising that life is full of steady rhythmic constant change can be a very soothing place to reach, and helps us cope, as you say, with the larger more dramatic changes more easily…..change is one of the few certainties of life!

  16. gwynnrogers says:

    Seonaid, as always your post and pictures are thought-provoking, especially for me and my friends who are turning 65 this year. The tide definitely is changing for us. We want to know how the tide changed so quickly. Also some of us are in denial that life really did change, but like looking out into the bay, all we have to do is look into the mirror. Remind me to throw my mirror away! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your lovely post.

    Also, you can tell Charlie@ Seattle Trekker that I live straight across the Sound from him in Poulsbo. We have some lovely tides here too.

    • Gwynn I’m so glad you found my post thought provoking. These ‘milestone’ birthdays can be challenging and thought provoking, and yet you’ll find that in reality the tide has turned in and out many times…..and will continue to do so many times more. There are still new things to come your way….and yes throw away the mirror, it really isn’t helpful πŸ™‚

  17. Gaye Abbott says:

    Being in the unfoldment is such a gentle and loving way to live ones life…..thank you Seonaid for this thoughtful and wise post.

  18. suej says:

    Lovely, calming image…and I like your words….

  19. A great message today, Seonaid and lovely photos to illustrate your point.

    • It’s great to hear you enjoyed the message about change and the rolling tides…..and although the light isn’t stunning in the photos I couldn’t resist the reflections πŸ™‚

  20. Gorgeous photos – soothing words to take to heart. πŸ™‚

  21. Uncle Tree says:

    Do we have a choice? Do we get to decide what influences us?
    Body and soul and heart — all wish to be stable, secure, and willful.
    Nature toys with us willy-nilly until we go with the flow of choice-less awareness.
    Tide in; tide out; tide in between; tied up with sheets; it’s all good, if we judge rightly.

    Good post, Seonaid! πŸ™‚ Great pics — perfect pretenses in combination! Cheerz, Uncle Tree

  22. You live in such a beautiful part of the world…Your photos are so enjoyable.

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