This weekend was a King Tide, a non-scientific term used to describe exceptionally high tides that occur during a new or full moon. There were high water marks on beaches, roads, and paths. And, 6-7 hours later, there were some of the lowest tides of the winter. You can’t help but ask, where does all the water go? King Tides invite us to look at the land with curious eyes towards highs and lows. For much of 2020 we have also been experiencing King Tides of the spirit, highs and lows. I’ve heard so many people say…”Where did 2020 go?” and “I can’t wait for 2020 to end.”
Many Californians participated this weekend in the California King Tide Project and took photos of high tide images around the state. In this citizen scientist project, we documented images to record changes in sea level rise.
This morning’s King tide swept across a local beach. The sand was replaced with shimmering water and reflections of purple, pinks and blues. The highs revealed great beauty yet a cautionary tale of climate change. The afternoon mudflats were a mix of logs, planks and hundreds of birds feeding in the mud. Where did the water go?
Our spirits have also seen great tides this year. We’ve had high tides of more time with family, less time in our cars, and opportunities to explore new hobbies such as cooking, puzzles and even living room dancing. Yet, like the ocean’s high tides they were replaced by real lows, moments of suffering, hunger, unemployment and loss of housing. We now face one American citizen dying every minute due to Covid. We grieve for our lost friends, family and neighbors.
Tides shift every 6-7 hours because of the phases of the moon. We know that after a high tide, comes a low; which is replaced by another high tide. As we hold on for the vaccine to reach all citizens perhaps we can hold on to the assurance of tides, there will be lows, and even king lows. We will also have high tide moments again and eventually perhaps some awe inspiring King Tide moments.