Sunday Inspiration: The Ebb and Flow of Life

the ebb and flow of life

We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid that it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity… Intermittency — an impossible lesson for human beings to learn. How can one learn to live through the ebb-tides of one’s existence? How can one learn to take the trough of the wave?… Perhaps this is the most important thing: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid…. One must accept the security of ebb and flow, of intermittency.” -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

My husband uses this reading sometimes in weddings he performs to describe the changes that take place in a relationship over the years, changes that aren’t necessarily good or bad but natural and expected. At times patience is needed to await the next transition, or perhaps it’s the courage to follow the wave wherever it might take us. But most important is the ability to stand back and look at the larger picture and to understand the need to have faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.

Can you chart the tides of your relationships or your life?


  1. DeniseA on January 12, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    I really enjoyed this! Life really is full of ebbs and flows. I’ve had my fair share of them! Sometimes it’s a challenge to get to the next tide! Sometimes you hate to see the tides roll away. That’s life. The beauty is though, that it always gives you something new to look forward to.

  2. Joan Leopold on January 13, 2020 at 9:38 am

    October will see our 50th wedding anniversary. a small wedding in the small church in the park in Westfield. In those 50 years I would not be able to chart all the ebbs and flows, but we always navigated through all of them. We faced whatever came our way together. I couldn’t have asked for a better life. I was positive it would be like that in 1970 when we began our life together.

Leave a Comment