You never know who or what might be teaching you something.
I was getting out of the water Wednesday afternoon when a woman’s voice blurted my name. An unfamiliar voice to my ears, but I could feel the sound was directed at me, not another Laurel. I turned around and met a very kind lady and her 10 year old son. We chatted briefly about surfing and mutual friends. Then I began walking over the dune towards the parking lot.
The 10 year old boy, sandy from head to toes with his bright blue rash-guard on came jogging up behind me, “Hey the waves are pretty big today! Don’t you think??” “Yea man!” I replied. I paused as he walked under my board. “I wanted to try to surf today, but I got wiped out by one of those 10 footers! So I decided, today is not my day to surf, I’ll stick with my boogie board for now, and practice my surfing when I can handle it a little better!” Simple, straight forward, and completely okay about it, he smiled and looked me in the eyes as if seeking my approval.
In this brief deliberant interaction, he taught me a few things. He taught me that sometimes it’s okay to revert to a boogie board, when necessary. He also taught me that the size of things are relevant to the seeker. To him, the waves were 10ft, to me they were about 3-4ft. In the same note, he taught me that somethings seem larger than they really are. Yet, above all, he demonstrated and reminded me to set aside pride, to forgo ego, and to relinquish forcefulness. Instead, to invite the humble unarmed soldier to speak. Allow that knowingness to guide you without questions. Surrender to the path, for this is the greatest wave to ride.
So be open, disarm the identities and throw away the labels you may have placed on who or what you learn from. Do this so you can welcome the unexpected teachers into your life. For those are the ones that will teach you the most. Those are the ones that will catch you in your raw authentic state and let the light in.