Drop a stone .. or a boulder .. into the water. It creates a BIGGER ripple.
Try skimming a flat rock .. the result is a scatter shot of ripples.
What is a ripple, actually?
According to Webster, "ripple" is a verb and was first used in 1755. It means
"to move in small waves" or "to pass or spread through or over someone or something".
Near the bottom of the entry at webster.com it says that a ripple is
"a shallow stretch of rough water in a stream."
Heartbeats are ripples. A friend's heartbeat creates waves that wash over your life. Waves that rush in-and-out .. like the tides. Waves that strew trash .. and treasure .. upon your beach. Soul plunder. Then draws back out to the sea .. carrying away bits and pieces of each of us.
Photo by OBX Sunrise - March 2013
Stormy & turbulent at times. Calm & serenely rhythmic at other times. The sun rises .. and the sun sets .. to the cadence of the tides. The ripples created by the heartbeats of our friends .. touch our lives ..
Time after time after time ..
from everlasting to everlasting.
I have a friend. I hesitate to use the term
best friend because that somehow implies that she has outclassed all of my other friends. All of my friends are unique and bring their own special value to my life.
This friend, though, definitely sits around the best-of-the-best table in my heart.
Over the years .. it's been almost 25 .. our individual beaches have been scourged and scarred. Life has been hard .. brutal .. unforgiving at times. The heartbeat ripples .. the waves of our friendship .. have cascaded on to the battlefields of our beaches .. erasing the wounds etched so deep in the sand in an attempt to somehow make them permanent ... washing away the hurts .. leaving a clean slate .. a chance for a fresh start ... every single time.
If asked, she would tell you things about the effect of my ripples on her life. How amazing it is to have me for a friend. It's her story .. and she's sticking to it. She believes it so that makes it the truth to her.
The real truth, though, is how her love has refreshed and nourished my soul.
Quirky. Smart. Fun. And funny. Beautiful. Caring. Generous. Forgiving. Genuine. Afraid. Trustworthy. Honest. Loyal. Supportive. Thoughtful. The beat goes on and on and on ..
... and did I say, beautiful?!?
Yeah. Beautiful inside and out. Her heart-light shines so bright .. it's a beacon from the beach .. during the most perfect of storms.
A safe harbor. That's what she has always provided for me.
Ripple-reading is a rare art. It is a God thing .. and can't be faked or mastered on one's own. My beautiful friend ... is a world-class ripple-reader. At least in the world of MaryJane.
Instinctively she knows when the tides have sucked the life right out of me. Leaving my beach barren .. my soul empty. Her ripples roll in .. as the tide turns .. covering me .. replenishing me .. every single time.
She has moved me in. She has moved me out. She has even moved in from time to time.
She has cleaned up my messy house .. my messy life .. more times than I care to count. When the wolves have been at the door .. she has ridden in .. like the cavalry .. staring my enemies down
with a look that said "To get to her, you have to come through me first! Bring it on!
I double-dog dare ya!"
I am not sure she is truly adventuresome at heart. Change has never come easy for her. Yet, she has always come willingly to ride shotgun .. into the uncharted territories that
I am prone to wander.
Very few people have seen my tears. She has held me in her arms and her heart .. whenever the flood dam has broken. She has always allowed me to be weak .. vulnerable .. even though it may have shaken her world a little to discover that I fall apart in distress.
She has provided a safe place for me to hide out .. to hurt .. and to heal.
She has carefully gathered up the broken pieces of my heart when I cast them aside as if they had no value .. later helping me to re-arrange them when I was able to breathe again.
She has often chosen to channel my tears into the barren fields of others .. irrigating fresh starts and new growth .. in unexpected places. Then laughingly claiming that somehow her gift
has come from me.
There have been good times .. laughter .. accomplishments .. milestones .. scattered in our surf. We have rode those waves together, too.
Driftwood. Seaweed. Shells. Beach glass. Shipwrecks. Jellyfish. Even a beach brick or two .. or a hundred. Our beaches have been littered by the good ... and the ugly.
My beautiful friend had a birthday. It was yesterday. Another of her friends sent her flowers.
I missed the boat.
Our ripples in recent years have been a slow ebbing-and-flowing .. a soothing constant caress that neither disturbs or distracts from the everydayness of the present. Background music, if you will, waiting for life's next crescendo.
To be a go-to friend .. to one who is always the go-to friend .. isn't easy. No doubt.
My life would not be complete without her in it. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what my life would be today without her strength, her faith, her confidence and her love.
Her ripples have weathered my storms .. sparkled in my sunshines .. have perfectly touched my life in all of it's hidden places. Her friendship has been one of the most enduring ..
and greatest blessings God has ever bestowed on me.
I simply wanted her to know that .. today .. every day .. always and forever.
(c) November 2014