Friday, January 16, 2009

Hindsight and Wisdom

Some friends and I woke early for a surf session down at Pacifica this morning.  It is hard not to find beauty in the early hours of a coastal environment.  When we reached the beach, a bonfire, fueled by expired Christmas trees, beckoned surfers and beach combers to its warmth.  I stood on the beach, dug my toes under the cold sand and turned my eyes to the frigid surf.  It was glassy calm; the kind that one who has awoken early to surf does not enjoy seeing.  Where were the waves?  I figured, as most surfers do, that they were simply right over the horizon, and I ran into the waves and paddled through a non-existant break.  
   I reached a pleasant area to wait out the weak surf and looked back to see where my friends were.  They ambled happily down from the car, strolling across the sand laughing.  I was alone in my thoughts, enjoying the morning, and I could only think of two things.  

    1. Damn, I need to buy some booties.

    2. Do good things come to those who wait  - OR  -  Does the early bird get the worm?
     It struck me that these two pieces of wisdom are both accepted to be true even though on the surface they contradict each other.  I was struck by the idea that these phrases are not true wisdom, simply easy phrases that masquerade as wisdom once the results of an activity are known.  Did someone fail at something?  Maybe they were too greedy, or maybe they did not want it enough.  Did someone succeed?  Well, they must have worked their tail off - OR - maybe they were patient.  
     Not in to the extremes?  Don't worry, there is another truism just for you:  Life is all about balance.  

   Ah, wisdom.  It is always present after a result is announced.