I imagine I've always liked patterns. Maybe you too? The patterns that show up in our human habits are specifically very cool to me.
One pattern that revealed itself to my elder neighbor friend and me awhile back is when we cross paths frequently and when we don't.
We've been calling it being on the same wave.
For a good while, she, Ernest, and I would be out on our own afternoon walks at the same time almost every day. We'd stop and say hello. She'd feed Ernest tons of treats and we'd talk. Often Ernest and I would join her on her regular route.
Other days Ernest and I would be driving into the neighborhood while she was out on her walk and we'd do the same thing – talk and she'd feed him treats through the window.
More recently we haven't seen each other as much. She still takes her almost daily walks. Ernest and I are still walking, too. We're simply not on the same wave right now.
For about a month, Ernest and I crossed paths in our neighborhood forest with Sammy the dog and her adult human.
The first time we all met Sammy's four-year-old kid human was also with them and they were all on a hippopotamus hunt. Ernest and Sammy started running full tilt together and we all ended up wandering around "hunting" for a nice long while.
Every week we kept crossing paths in the same forest. Ernest and Sammy seemed very happy about it.
Looking back a few weeks I realized it was always Tuesday morning. We were riding the same wave.
We haven't seen them for the past few Tuesdays. Maybe we've arrived at the forest just after they've departed (Ernest's nose probably knows this info). Maybe they're out of town. Maybe they switched their forest romps to Wednesday mornings.
I once went up to a woman at the local grocery store and said I knew her from somewhere and I couldn't place where. She and I looked at her each other with friendly perplexion (a word? now it is.). We couldn't figure it out and what we settled on is that I actually simply knew her from seeing her at the grocery store multiple times before!
The special sauce to being on the same wave is that it's not planned.
It either happens or it doesn't.
Personally, I can become sad if I'm not on the same wave as others with whom I enjoy crossing paths. Though the opportunity that unfolds then, in this new present moment, is to notice who am I now on the same wave as?
I can't imagine a creature of the human variety or more-than-human who is never on the same wave as at least one fellow creature.
Others I've been on the same wave with:
- almost all through last summer, Ernest and I would be out taking long walks out of the neighborhood and we'd see the same UPS delivery guy with a rocking leather cowboy hat. We'd wave and smile and go on our respective ways.
- often I like to work at the local library on the weekends. A woman tutors high school students the same stretch of time that I usually work there. I usually witness three students coming over the span of the three hours that I'm there.
- For awhile I'd head to a nearby beach on a weekday afternoon. For just a few times, I crossed paths with Craig, a man who would dance hop over all the driftwood on the beach with a portable speaker playing pop music. He and I danced together a few times, sharing our unique styles with one another.
- every now and then as I'm driving towards home from downtown, I witness an elder man carrying an unfurled American flag on a long pole. He walks at least half a mile if not much more (I've seen him at different points of my own journey home)!
- at least four years ago, if I left my previous home to drive north to work at a particular time of the morning, I'd drive past a man riding his bicycle with a – no joke! – huge German Shepard sitting in a wooden front cart attached to the bike.
I enjoy most when I can personally connect with the humans or more-than-humans with whom I'm on the same wave. Driving certainly makes this more difficult, if not impossible.
Since there's a synchronicity, spontaneity, and potential anonymity about being on the same wave, it really is about being in the moment.
I'd imagine that you have experienced countless one-off moments of connection with your local, fellow humans and more-than-humans. These are so special too.
The pattern observer within me feels deep joy when the one-off moments transmute into repeatedly being on the same wave.
This pattern helps remind me that I'm not as much in control as I'd like to think I am – and that that lack of control can actually lead to beautiful connections forming. Those connections may be fleeting or long-lasting.
This pattern offers perspective, too. Depending on how big of a picture one wants to see, one can imagine all the concurrent waves on a street, at a four-way stop, in a neighborhood, on a highway, at a park, in a city...
This pattern is one of the elements I imagine fellow "connective tissue" people* noticing.
Many of us embody connections that are role-based (partner, boyfriend, grandpa, barista...). We embody connections that grow from one role into another (coworker to friend, association member to conference coordinator). We make plans with others and ourselves through the lenses of these roles. These connections can be incredibly valuable and supportive of us as individuals, groups and communities.
Being on the same wave is one of those near invisible forms of connection – even though it's near invisible, I know it greatly nourishes me.
Maybe being on the same wave can offer a chance to sidestep one's usual roles?
Maybe being on the same wave can be an opportunity for a layer of connections that your present day-to-day living may be missing?
I wonder what else being on the same wave can offer? I'd enjoy hearing your take on this.
Curious about the what and why behind this newsletter? Read on!
These weekly shares arise out of a desire and need to reinvigorate our personal sense of agency by redefining the way we think about our sense of belonging with and in the world.
The evolving vision here is to hold space for humans who care for others (that's you... the "connective tissue" people*) to learn and care about co-creation and to express that care by intentionally integrating experiential and experimental co-creation into the many facets of life.
*some of the roles "connective tissue" people step into are caregiver, educator, grandparent, heart-centered leader, elder, coach, community garden organizer, therapist, dog walker, people-centered consultant, storyteller, auntie, body worker, uncle, and oh so many others.
Til next time... maybe we'll be on the same wave? (even if I send this out a day later than I usually do as I'm heading out on a road trip... 😉)