The Surfing Lesson

The water glistens. I can barely look at its beauty through squinting eyelashes as the blue mist touches my lips and the gulls screech their songs above. I feel the wind brush my face and sweep her maternal fingers through my hair as I paddle out on the board, full of butterflies…

The salty Pacific splashes through chilled toes, and I visualize myself riding her waves back to shore.

I get ready. I know I can do this. I am what I think. Paddle paddle. Strong arms. Lift off! What a rush! as I stand shakily and ride the wave to shore.

As the hours pass, I try to catch more waves. I fall. I get up. I fall. I get up. I get frustrated. My shoulder hurts. This board feels like a lumbering bear, maneuvering it in the water. Try, try and try again. Sometimes it’s success; sometimes it’s a bailout.

The surf class has ended. I’m exhausted and a little disappointed. This Cali gal thought surfing was going to be the end-all, the epitome of fun, flow and adventure. Even standing on the board, riding the waves didn’t add up to sky-scraper-high expectations.

As I paddle back to shore, something from deep inside tells me to lay my head on the board. Let your arms float out to your sides, I hear. As my body sighs with relief, I surrender. I feel the waves move beneath me and feel how I am connected to the pull of the tides, the moon, the heartbeat of the Earth.

Here exhilaration, at last! I am One with the waves, the sea, the blue green planet, swirling in me, under me and through me.

As I float up and down in sacred silence, I feel complete.  I trust the All of it.
So this is why I came to the surfing class. This is why I’m here. I breathe gratitude from my lips as my cheek rests on the bobbing board.

Sometimes our reasoned and well-meaning plans don’t show up like what we expected or projected or thought they would look like. Sometimes our expectations get in the way of hidden treasures.

Thank you surfing lesson for reminding me to Trust. Everything always works out. Everything is perfect, even in its seeming momentary imperfection.


For Sherri and Nicole

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