Big Waves 2(1) sml

The Set Wave of an Aging Activist

Ocean passages on rolling seas; counting waves to challenge the myth of the set wave, where every seventh swell is the largest of a set of 14 waves. Sometimes, it was the fifth; other times it was the ninth. Whatever the number, there was always a wave that appeared too big, that roared and enveloped you.

In this senior period of my life, I count the set waves of historic moments and events that shaped my life or defined my mission. Like a surfer in search of the seventh swell, I wait for the next cause.

Voting Rights








  Police Shootings




Climate Change



Always a part of these moments, never the solution.

I rode on a wave of voice, action, protest, and prayer. With a cup of cold water, a letter, policy, and the never-ending engagement meeting, I rode the wave. 

Today, the set wave seems bigger and stronger, capped with the foam of discontent and polarization.

There will be more set waves.

History is our greatest prognosticator, and it tells us there is always a wave in our future – an event, a dictator, a disaster, a disease.

The younger generations wait cautiously, watching for the next set wave, and wonder if the activist will fall. But I will always rise above, set wave or otherwise, and soon they will find the wave they must ride.

With every rolling swell, there is a soul prepared to conquer it.

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