These pockets of life
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
I am addicted to surfing. It's a new surprising love, that restarted, again, last winter, with friends, and our big blue. I am understanding the oceans waves and the feeling of a set and the swells and where the waves breaks and where to sit. And were to NOT to sit. I am feeling it. I am getting to know her so so well. While I am also falling and flailing and scared. While literally pushed over in surrender to the beginning again, while also ending on my feet, first pumping into the air. Sucking, then succeeding then sucking again, while driven to keep playing. It keeps reminding me of life. Of mothering. Of this life as an entrepreneur. Of transitions, and healing and growth. Of becoming. Of remembering. As a women. As a human.
I love the whole ritual about it. When I first go in, all dry. It’s still summer weather here, so in a bathing suit, sunscreened up, most likely filled with some sort of excitement with a pushing need for this release, and rerouting in my brain or heart somewhere. I am holding my board. I feel the pure stoke and we meet, the ocean and I. I always brush one hand down to say hello. To ask for protection and offer my honor and respect, like a hand shake, but so much better. My fingers are open, my palm is open as I run one hand through the water right before I throw my board down to slap against the shallow water, and jump on top to start that first paddle of that sesh. The warm water rushes under me with each stroke. I whisper thank you, God. Or just say it in my head. Those first digs have often brought my salt water with the oceans. Pure appreciation. I’ll shove them away if I am with others. I feel the start of the shift and it feels so good.
My back arched, abs tight. Wiggle and adjust better onto the board. Rush of energy, paddle, paddle paddle out. Yes.
I take in the view. Oh that view every time. I see clear water beneath. Shades of blues, greens. Crystal shades that still keep me in awe. Fish, coral, sometimes a far off rainbow … once in a rare while on a very very magical day a honu. The ocean meeting the skyline. The neighboring surf spots, with bigger waves and more people out. The sound of the the water slapping back onto my board, as I charge over waves not breaking.
The salty feel on my skin, in my mouth. The first dip in, to dunk under, quick jump off the board to get wet and further the reboot of the morning, day or evening. The greeting of my friends out all ready or on their way once I am perched up, sitting on my board, also scoping the scene, and I, still learning where is best to sit that day. The smiles on all our faces. Mama friends. Sometimes their kids. Often my teenage students and random south side ohana. Our gathering for those moments.
We made it. We made it today. We made it this moment. This sesh. Because all our juggles pull everywhere else. And mothering, and work and house needs all seem to feel larger and more demanding. But not at this moment. Not in this part of the day. We are out here. We are doing it, yet again and again. And I see all our hearts beaming under our suits and the glory the ocean is gifting us, literally holding us up under our boards, each for that moment in our days. Soothing a pain, washing away a worry. Embracing the lonely, the achy the anger. Or just hyping up the joy and celebration we entered the water with. The ocean knows. And meets us where ever we are with swirling embrace.
I am braving being out further where it is actually better to sit, over where I restarted this whole ceremony again, at 45, ego thrown way aside. Just following that tiny flicker of bliss that wanted to grow to where it all ready is today, just months later,…still not that great at this sport. But better every time. Feeling closer to the “outside” having left the white wash, unless that monster set comes. Feeling the squeal, that often is vocal when sets do come, getting used to seeing a wall of water coming toward you and remembering our bond as I enter this sacred place, and the spots I surf that are mostly softer, slower waves. Finding my groove with the swell that day. It’s certainly just another dance. And that dance, the rides. Exactly why we all paddle out over and over. The wave you are in the pocket with, pop up goes good, or good enough to get you onto your feet, and now that I am standing, THAT RIDE!!
Been reaching for it since I was 13. But the short boards I was trying all though my teens, no bueno, no thanks to ALL the uncles and friends that didn’t advise me to switch to a long board. The cold water of California and wetsuits and booties. Never got up. But paddled out often all through my teens. Then the cave onto a boogie and fins, back on the coast in my 30’s, great advice from Drew, which was genius to really get used to learning about waves and sets and rides with a foam bottom and duck diving. And then that small window right before I got pregnant with Naila, my first ever long ride inside Pikala’s living here on Kauai, in this warm water, I just remember how long it was. My first, on that sweet long board, Drew later broke. I was looking down the wave then to the beach where he and Daysha were building sand castles, then back at the wave then back at them and waving. It was that ride that pulled me back 6 years later. I had to find that again. And I have.
I can barely say I surf, I still feel like a faker. But I am told I can own that for sure. I really don’t care. I get into the water, my favorite piece of nature, that has been a constant in my life since birth. With a board, usually with friends or community that is out that day. Still a soft top, waxed up, as I am just starting to think about my long board in the water one day. But for now the soft top is best, to brave actually wave riding these days. And the joy is just endless. Even on the days I ride nothing. I pearl over and over, I still leave with sore abs from how much we laugh. Our friend Shannon is ridiculously funny. Laughing now as I type this. But just laugh at the fear of the bigger waves that hit us, the look on our faces after falling, wave has passed us, not back on our board yet, just holding it, and making some smart ass remark about that level of talent we just demonstrated. It has been the thing added to dancing, meditations/prayers and once a week boxing that has carried me through this season, this year.
Kinda like where I am with the sport, outta the white wash, not quite on the outside. Looking back at how far, just how fucking far I have come, and yet, peering out at this beginner spot and around where we will most likely be heading next, no rush, we cool, but next, and there’s much more to learn and step into.
But the water, our Pacific, she reminds me of flow. She is the hug of letting go. It’s the reminder that THIS is what it is all about. Right now. It’s the revel in the now. It’s the addition of my daughters out there now too. Naila not on a board but so brave with her swimming and charging the big shore breaks like a fish. She's under more then on top of the water, exploring. Daysha out there now, with Shannon’s Daughter Sevan, and Taylor, and their lil crew that day. Girl Groms, giggly and doing so good. They inspiring her to get this, even pushing her into waves. And she is totally is! She will soon pass up mama for sure and nothing would make me happier to experience that. We even rode our first few waves together just last weekend. Stoke amplified! We landed on the shore right near where Naila was swimming and I just fell over…well I literally fell over, tripping on my leash, not jumping off quick enough and making an epic show for the tourists, #grace #dancer anyway, we landed and as I fell over in total YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! While also laughing at myself….. I also just looked up and out onto the horizon for a second smiling with God, and said…. Are you kidding me? This is Unreal! Blessed Beyond. Spoiled with life.
The list goes on. The life will always pull. The moments will be filled. And it still feels selfish, luxurious, like I am reaping too much pleasure and “should” be “working” or cooking or whatever- ing. But THIS is what it’s all about. Same goes for this writing. For the long moments I take bare foot in my yard. For the extra long meditations, and the often pauses these days to release the faucet again, and process more, and just BE and breathe.
We are not paid for them. They don’t have an agenda. It’s truly living.
Surfing... It’s often spontaneous…or now a bit planned mid week now after drop off, but still a juggle to make it happen. And yet, it also exemplifies what the life truly is.
Community. Nature. Joy. Presence. Pure enjoyment. Learning. Adapting. Softening the falls with laughter. Supporting each other. Fueling our body inside and out, Feeling supported by our earth. Aloha. Touching God. Just for that sesh, again and again. Heaven on Earth.