First I Dreamt the Journey – Part 13 – Ebb and Flow

Reflecting on these and other battles it has become clear to me that there is a rise and fall, an ebb and flow in all things.

Nature itself in its seasons has a pattern of renewal, blossoming, maturing and death followed by renewal again.

So it is too in my own life, although not necessarily in tune with nature’s seasons. I have periods when energy levels are high, when ideas burst forth, periods when plans come into fruition, periods when maturation allows things to settle into my subconscious and become part of who I am, and periods, fallow periods, when energy levels are low and I need to allow myself to recuperate.

I must accept these fluctuations, go with them, understand that they are natural patterns and not fight against them.

Highs and lows are part of these patterns, and I must learn that this is so – not get so carried away on the high that I fly too close to the sun, or sink so deep into the low that it becomes a bottomless pit.

Sometimes it can feel like a roller coaster, and I suppose in a way it is; but knowing that I am on a roller coaster allows me to enjoy the ride even if, some times, I must hold on very tightly.

I do well to study natural patterns and to learn. If I watch a child grow I will notice periods of rapid growth followed by consolidation periods, followed again by rapid growth. A child too, learning to walk, will in the early stages when it wants to get somewhere quickly, drop to its hands and knees and crawl. Yet it will persist in learning to walk, knowing intuitively that is the better option in the long term.

All growth, all learning follows these patterns – we make rapid progress then seem to plateau and we can become discouraged. Yet if we continue to work we will be laying the foundations under the plateau that allow the next period of growth.

My most immediate teacher of natural patterns is the sea. I have places I can go, either physically or in my head, which allow me to watch the pattern of the tides and to learn their significance.

The tide comes in,
the sea roars and boils,
crashes in great waves on the strand,
beats itself against the sea wall,
throws great clouds of spray skywards,
demonstrates its enormous power,
its incredible energy.

Then it goes out,
everything is still,
the tide driven back from the shore,
distant ripples at the sea’s edge,
the energy seeming all spent,
the power – not gone, just rebuilding,
restoring, re-energizing.



 Audio version available at


18 Responses to “First I Dreamt the Journey – Part 13 – Ebb and Flow”

  1. Nice one, David. Sometimes we use caffeine, alcohol, nicotine to try and control our engergy levels and moods, but it really is just better to ‘go with the flow’, even if that isn’t always easy, methinks! 😉

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Paul,

      Acceptance I think is the key – once we accept we are then able to “go with the flow”

      Although I do find that an Ulster fry is capable of changing my mood!! 🙂

  2. Lovely chapter and poem 🙂 I really love the poem. The sea gives and takes and is always there, and always different. Like life itself.

    Sometimes you have to go with the flow, sometimes fight the forces. Is that what you meant?

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Ina,

      Watching the sea is always guaranteed to bring me restoration – in some ways I envy your easy access to the ocean 🙂

      Trust the Process is what I think I meant

      • The Process, I am not sure I understand, but I will find out while reading 🙂

      • belfastdavid Says:

        I have been exploring the true depth of what it means throughout my recovery, but this would be one explanation –

        Trust the Process

        You start with faith
        that something will work
        without really knowing,

        And then just by
        doing what you have
        to do out of faith,

        It leads somewhere
        totally different.
        And it is OK.

  3. I’ve gotten so down on myself during those lowly periods but as you eloquently put it, “the power – not gone, just rebuilding, restoring, re-energizing.” I just need to chill out about it that’s all. You made me think. You know how I hate to consciously do that. Excellent!

  4. christine Says:

    L love the poem at the end of this piece, it’s one of your earlier one isnt it. The power of the sea, which this so vividly depicts, always reminds me of the many aspects of the universe that are so much more powerful than me.! Wow – what a revelation!!! And the sea is only one of them. To think now how difficult I found it to grasp a higher power. Yes, I have changed, a little!

    This piece says so much and for me it is talking about acceptance, balance, putting in the work and having faith that all will be well, even when there are struggles. The outcome of those struggles to a great extent is dependant upon how we choose to deal with them.

    Thank you again for this lovely book.

    Lots of love


    xxx ( and a hug)

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Christine,

      It is one of my earlier poems – it appears also in my first book – Walking into Eternity.

      Acceptance seems such a simple word but applying it at a deep level is difficult. Yet it makes such a big difference when we do!!!

      And, of course, this whole segment (perhaps the whole book) is about trusting the process!!

      Lots of love and a hug to you too.


  5. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    There is much in what you write here, –
    I love the poem about the sea,

    much to think about!
    about the process too, – it’s a comforting poem!

    wish you a good end of the week
    Vera & Karley

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Vera,

      It is a poem which comforts me whenever I re-read it.
      The sea has much to teach us if we take the time to learn.

      My best wishes to you too for the rest of the week, I hope the new tapestry is progressing well


  6. reply to your comment: (I don’t see the orange reply button) it still sounds mysterious 🙂 but that is fine. The process is kicking of. You have done so well, and so long as well I think? I admire that vey much.

    About the sea poem: The sea is a big inspiration. 🙂

    Hugs from overseas!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Big 🙂

      Thank you Ina,
      The sea is always a big inspiration to me and I imagine to you too

      Hugs to you too (Hugs are always welcome 🙂 )

  7. David,

    I really like the way you used the idea of a child learning to walk. Love that! Also, the poem is an excellent choice for this lesson. Beautifully written! Much enjoyed.

    Much love,

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Shirley,

      We have so much to learn from natural things – like the child, like the sea. We just have to take the time!! 🙂

      I hope you are well.

      Much love

  8. Hi David,

    The process of learning to go with the flow is certainly a process in progress for me. I get carried away so easily, the passion flares and before I know it I’m an exhausted. I’m learning though and with each passing phase of anxiety, passion and life event I’m learning to be more disciplined and more relaxed and calm in my mind.

    I love your lesson flowing through nature’s way. It speaks to me so clearly. I have often thought nature to be a great teacher and I have learnt much from my surrounds. ‘Ebb and Flow’ reminds me at quite an apt time as I begin to traverse online again to keep calm while carrying onwards.

    I hope you have had a pleasant weekend.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Tikarma,

      I am smiling at your comment. I so recognise “get carried away so easily”!!!
      I used to spend mornings on this computer existing on a diet of nicotine and caffeine and then wonder by mid-afternoon why I felt poorly!! Now I will not turn the computer on until after I have had breakfast. It is not rocket science but it does make a difference 🙂

      You look after yourself as you learn the new disciplines of a new house and a new environment and do remember those deep breaths. 🙂

      Trust the process 🙂


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