I am pinned on a sandbar as the cold Atlantic pours itself on top of me. The ice water rushes through the opening of my hood, over my shoulders, and down into my wetsuit. I come up gasping for air, for warmth, for sunlight…
I can’t control the ocean, nor would I want to. To govern the sea, would remove the essence of its creation. It would muddle down the act of living and leave us in a somber state. The elements work to teach those who want to be taught. By providing a variation of conditions- different swell heights, swell directions, winds, currents, tides, and temperatures, a life long connection to the world and the very core of our existence is provoked.
I climb back onto my board, sit, and re-collect myself as a few beautiful waves pass by. Bobbing out in the frigid temps of the mid-Atlantic winter isn’t for the faint of heart. I laugh and wonder why I persist…
“I paddle out for the experience,” I remind myself- for the various conditions, for the connection and liveliness. I want to see every aspect of the ocean. It fills my heart to witness it- in calm, in fury, in perfect flow. It is only in experiencing the different traits, do I understand it more, and therefore develop a deeper relationship with it.
In this never ending process, I learn to read the ocean, so I can surf better. I learn to accept the conditions, so I can pick the proper gear to keep me going. Most of all, I learn to unite with it, become a friend to it, acknowledge its power, and apply my understanding of it when I paddle out.
For it is in this development that I learn how to live life wholesomely.
Let’s face it. There are a lot of things we cannot control, nor would we want to. However, we have the opportunity to decide how we respond to what we experience, and therefore create our reality. When we observe it, we learn how to read and interpret it. When we accept it, we learn how to respond. When we surrender to it, we learn how to grow. And when we learn to experience, all, of what life has to give, it is then that we learn how to live.