Life can be hard. If you can’t find a beach, consider the ocean instead. The brewing pot of life is out there twisting and turning. Your perspective will change everything.
So, following the theme of this month, Oregon, I want to tell you about crabs.
We went out on our second to last day there to catch some crabs and cook a soup. (I’m not going to try to spell it out its some crazy Italian word + I don’t want to butcher it for Torre’s sake.) So we caught crabs and bought some other water meats, fish, oysters etc. and headed back to the campsite. We talked about the salty sea dog who came over to help us catch the crabs. He taught us a trick that we used to conquer the changing tide and reel in six or seven of the little guys. He bid us a good day and took off from the docks as we stayed to harvest our bounty. We talked about him and his wisdom and how sailors are kind of a force that banded together to conquer the sea. It made me think about the crabs that we had caught that day.
It was the first time I had gone crabbing and I was thrilled, there was a certain kind of magic about it. Such a simple task and yet it brought me a kind of joy that fishing never really did. It’s no secret that I struggle with patience. I don’t like to wait for things, so I’ve never like fishing. However, that day was different. Sitting on the docks talking to Torre and the rest of the guys about the trip and the day was calming. It gave my soul a bit of respite from the up and down that my life had been recently. One crab we pulled up was too small to take, so we were going to have to toss it back in. As we tried, it flipped on its back and couldn’t get back on its feet, not being very flexible and all, Torre grabbed it and tossed it back into the water before we dropped our cages once more to wait.
I considered what it would be like to be a crab, getting ripped out of your environment to be prodded and tossed around and then told that you weren’t big enough, or healthy enough. Then to be tossed back home. It made me think about something Torre had mentioned, the way you hold crabs in order to not get pinched. Like a video game controller, with your fingers around their claws so they can’t stretch out to grab you. Or from the behind, where they would have to reach around to get a finger.
I wondered how flexible crabs would have to be to adjust to living in the constantly changing ocean and I realized then that it was the same for humans. We live in a time that is never the same. Every day brings new ups and downs. There are always new tides to persist through and there is always something new that we must face. Depending on the situation we might have to hang on for dear life, or we could find a nice cubby hold to relax in for a while where we don’t have to worry about the cages of tragedy or pain descending upon us.
It takes a lot of flexibility and a lot of persistence to get up every day. It can wear you down and it can wear you out. I hope that today, you aren’t giving up. I hope that if you’ve just been captured by pain that you flip back onto your legs and crawl out into the ocean. There is something magical about the scent of the sea. There is something to be said about flexibility and persistence. There is much to be praised about the way we stand up when the world is bearing down on us. I’m glad you’ve stood up today, and if you are struggling, know that from one salty dog to another, I’m here to help you get back to the drink.
If you enjoyed this or any of my other malarkey, please follow me on Facebook + Twitter @alvatobiasbooks