“There is a road, no simple highway Between the dawn and the dark of night And if you go no one may follow That path is for your steps alone
Ripple in still water When there is no pebble tossed Nor wind to blow…” Jerry Garcia
I’ve made some waves in my time. I have also been caught in the riptide they created. All in all, I have very few regrets. This is no valedictory, and I don’t assume I have peaked. Some situations and subjects are simply too tempting for me not to blurt out a contradictory opinion just for the sake of sparking a spirited discussion.
My life goal, however, is to create ripples rather than waves. What’s the difference, ripples are just little waves, right? In a sense, that’s true. Besides size, I see the cause as a difference between the two. The Dead’s song about a ripple not caused by tossed stones or blowing wind strikes a chord with me.
What if each moment of life sends out a ripple through time and space within the universe and the sum of those ripples is the creation of our eternal existence? Of course, that idea (unlike those of the pure energy religions) presupposes a mathematician standing, above and independent of, time, space, and the multiverse. One who knows when things don’t add up and when they do.
I generally begin each day with a request for divine direction. If I stop and review those requests, I find each one has been answered in a positive manner. That does not mean I took the advice, or I didn’t try doing it my own way first, or that I even heard it, but I have not gone without direction. It means that the ripples I make are, in fact, of my own making. The consequences of those ripples and any possible correction of them rests upon my shoulders.
If my soul is scarred, the wounds were all self-inflicted. The pain I may have felt, however, has engendered divine empathy that affected mercy on my behalf. I believe that I have been granted a peek into my life beyond this body that I now inhabit. That I don’t charge off towards it shows I may have developed some patience after all. No one is more surprised by that epiphany than I am.
I have passed up some very tempting opportunities to make waves lately. To say I’m learning, I’m improving, or I’m more desirous of peace is premature. Let’s just say I am more prepared to watch people go over the falls than to warn them it exists. If they will not hear the roar of falling water, see the rushing surface, or feel the acceleration of the current, do they really need my voice?
I say that and then, each Sunday, don my crusader outfit. It doesn’t make me a hypocrite, just a fool. As the song said, it’s not a simple highway and the path is a solitary one.