Get Down to the Water

The tides have always been a part of my life.  As children, we would spend our summer days in the water.  Sometimes we would play on the shoals.  At other times, we would pass right over them as if they were never there.  The shape of our aquatic playground changed daily, hourly, minute by minute.  It was the sea’s way of playing hide-and-seek with us.  Always changing, never staying in one place.

In the fall of 2008, a major force was at work – gravity. The earth and moon were helpless to this constantly changing relationship of closeness and distance.  This mighty force.  Unrelenting. Unavoidable. Unstoppable.  The tide was rising.

I was living in the sweetest little one-bedroom house, renting the downstairs unit of a waterfront island cottage.  I loved that little house.  It was simple, and plain, and perfect.  Double sliding glass doors facing the canal.  Many nights, sometimes around midnight, I would put my kayak in the water and paddle out, moving with the water.  Life there was effortless and peaceful, but the tide was rising.

It was a Thursday evening, and I left the house to go work at my part-time job. The sun was still out.  I remember noticing the tide being really high, but I thought nothing of it. 

Within 30 minutes, the tide was inside that simple, plain, perfect house. 

As a result, and with a disappointed heart, I moved out.  This force, this constantly changing relationship of closeness and distance, this rising tide, changed everything.

I asked my mother if I could stay with her for a couple of weeks – just until I found somewhere else to live.  We decided that if I’m going to pay someone rent, it might as well be her.  With a little extra income, she could afford to retire soon.  So, she asked me to stay, and I did.

It was nothing but a party for the first several years, hanging out with my brothers and getting to know the people in the neighborhood.  My brother Willis introduced me to his good friend Dan.  After realizing we all had a similar passion for music, we did the sensible thing that most grown-ups would do, we started a band!  Standing in Dan’s driveway, we quickly came up with the perfect band name: Straits Haven.  We were moving with the tide, changing.

The “Straits” is a narrow body of water north of Harkers Island.  It connects the mouth of North River to Core Sound.  It is where I found my first clam and sand dollar, and where I caught my first flounder and drum.  Many summer days and evenings were spent in the Straits with my family.  Boats glide across the water.  Dolphin swim through the channel.  Birds rest. 

Our band was named after this body of water, this narrow passage of connecting water.  This band connected us to each other, to new friends, and to new adventures to come.  It has been many years since the beginning of that band.  Straits Haven has had many gigs, road trips, and stories. The band has changed, I have changed, just as the tide has changed. 

Our lives are like a major force at work.  We are helpless to this constantly changing relationship of closeness and distance.  This mighty force.  Unrelenting. Unavoidable. Unstoppable.  The tide is rising.  Always changing, never staying in one place.

Listen to Straits Haven:

Get Down to the Water


Published by Talley

Talley is a teacher and a writer. She graduated from East Carolina University in May 2006, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and has been a classroom teacher for over 15 years.

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