The Breakwater

‘The Breakwater’

A favourite Auckland place – the short, curving breakwater at the Devonport shore.

I have visited there a number of times before, but this time around I was drawn to its pure functionality.

The sandy beach just out of shot was protected by the waves driven by a fresh south-easterly wind.

There was calm in the lee of the solid pier.

The breakwater was doing its job.

Which had me thinking about what breaks the adverse forces that fall upon us in life.

There is something about resilience in this. The tools that we have at our disposal or the things we learn along the way, that mitigate the effect of the negative and the harmful.

I spent a great part of my adult life not realising that resilience was even a quality. Stuff happened and you just dealt with it well, or didn’t, as the case may have been.

Which is sort of leaving things to chance.

The reason some people bounce back from tumult or disaster, and others don’t, doesn’t come down to genetics or your star sign.

It is our hard earned resilience that makes the difference. That is: learning from experience; realising that existence is both fluid and fragile; and finding shelter (or a breakwater) when you need it.

Just as an aside, resilience should not be confused with stoicism. I have learned the difference between the two the hard way. Stoicism is pretending you are the breakwater.

In life, as in the shoreline scene, we find ourselves on either side of the breakwater at different times.

Resilience is just knowing where to position yourself when the waves toss up.