Through the Eye of the Needle

Sometimes the smallest openings lead to the largest discoveries. Remember the early scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when Willy Wonka leads his guests down a hallway that gets smaller and smaller the further along they go? And, there at the very end of the hall is an extremely small door which, of course, leads into the largest and most spectacular room in the factory.

I found myself in one of those tight spots this morning as my wife and I explored La Jolla Cove on a tandem kayak. With the promise of caves, kelp and sea life awaiting us we headed out on the water as part of a loosely organized “guided” tour. When we reached the cliff walls that form the cove we came upon a narrow cave opening which, from the perspective of the open water, looked pretty simple to navigate. What I realized as we entered the gap is that a good part of the ocean was entering at the same time, and it had a lot more practice than us. We glanced off the right cave wall and surged forward into an open chamber that was pulsing with the unpredictable ebb and flow of the current. It was an effort just to hold the kayak in place, much less to maneuver it around this impressive cavern. Once we got our bearings and had a few moments to take in our surroundings, we were rewarded for the effort. This impressive space, invisible just a few yards offshore, is a monument to the creative collaboration of time, wind and water.

Sometimes we have to squeeze through a pretty tight spot in order to get to an expansiveness we could never have imagined. Sometimes the only thing we can see is a narrow gap beckoning us forward, asking us to believe that with a little faith, a little focus and a willingness to ride the surge of the forces around us, we will be opened up to something we otherwise never would have seen.

© 2010 David Berry

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