Our Wakes

by elizabethbrantley

I had the privilege of being on my first ski boat two weeks ago. While I enjoyed kneeboarding for the first time, I really enjoyed seeing what could be done by those I was with and learning more about the sport.

The most interesting thing I learned was the utmost importance of the wake. How was it breaking? How deep was it? How do you go into it? Where on it do you land? I never realized the importance of the driver in the sport, how there is an endless amount of communication and partnership between the skier and the driver. No ride is the same, and it is the job of the driver to manuever the boat to help the skier the best they can.

Then my friends showed me something amazing. By weighing down the boat they were able to make a wake deep enough that you can surf on a surfboard, behind the boat endlessly. While I thought this was tremendously cool, the image stuck with me and helped me understand something a few nights later when I read an expression I had heard often.

The sentence read, “If it is to be a lasting blessing, with happiness in its wake, it must be handled in a way becoming to the nature of the source whence it comes.”

While this is out of context, reading this sentence I saw something. I saw that both metaphorically, and perhaps more literally than we can realize, we are all creating a wake. This wake is one of our best creations. While it can be intentional or not, there is no doubt that it affects those around us, for better or worse, giving them a ride or a headache.

In the quote it talked of a wake of happiness. This thought thrilled me! Like Amelia Bedelia, I couldn’t help but imagine a wave behind a boat spewing things that tend to make me happy – little baby ducks, vegetables, friends, laughter, rain, good grades, hugs, writing etc. Then in my visual mind, I saw the boat disappear and it was me. As I was charging through this life, what was my wake? What was I leaving people with? Could they ride it? Was it thrilling, helpful, deep? Above all, was it a wake of happiness?

We don’t often look back to see how others are using the residues of our presence. We are more focused on looking forward or to the more tangible things in life, which of course is much needed (you are steering a boat). But there is a partnership that we all have with each other. Our moving forward can help someone get up and have a exhilarating ride. It can help them fly and laugh. Our choices can create a wake deep enough and wide enough for someone to walk on water and have the ride of their life. I just see now that there really is a wave behind me, and behind all of us. It’s up to us to see how we can make these wakes waves of happiness for others to enjoy and be thrilled by.