While I was meditating yesterday, my centering thought was “I cherish my every connection”. Feeling these words makes my heart so full, joy filled and expansive. It fills me with the love that only being in the present moment, consciously aware, truly provides me. Twenty five years ago I began my journey surfing waves in the great Pacific Ocean; first with a body board for about five years then I added surfing on a surfboard after that. From the very beginning, the impulse that kept bringing me back was the physical, emotional and spiritual connection I felt from each session. The wave’s great energy lifts me up and drops me into the wave’s face, accelerates me down the line and sometimes lets me pull in. The negative ions from the wave spray that I inhale during my session gives me an euphoric sensation. The awareness of the ever changing tides, seasons and Mother Nature’s migrating wildlife all around me; her whales, dolphins, seals, fish and birds abound. All of this connection keeps bringing me back to the waves, but the common denominator that makes me feel so whole and part of something bigger than myself is the community, our surfing tribe, our common-unity. Their love, support and encouragement over my nearly four decades on this path makes me cherish surfing even more!
Tonight when I drove down to check the surf, I shared sweet connection with two of my oldest friends here on the Oregon Coast, both directly and indirectly. I was checking my favorite sandbar when I saw my dear friend, Josh, catch a nice down the line right on that same sandbar. I couldn’t be on it this afternoon, so I simply connected with Josh, his wave and the satisfaction of seeing a wave well ridden. Moments later, Steve, my old store manager from Cleanline Surf Shop in 1989, flagged me over. I pulled in and got out to greet him with his wet hug and kiss. Steve had just surfed a fun session but acknowledged with a smile that he was freezing. I said I had just seen Josh get a nice one. Steve had been out riding the lefts instead. For those few minutes, the three of us shared a surfing connection. At one time, a long time ago, we became friends and now here we are still dear old friends sharing the waves and surfing together.
Each day as I walk through my life, I step out and open myself to the multitude of connections that are there just waiting for me to receive. As long as I am present and not distracted, I feel a great abundance and richness in them. Never feeling like I missed that precious moment to hug a friend, witness and share a wave with a surfer, or realize how everything is in constant change and I am but a small but essential part of it all.
Connections can come from the physical touch like when I saw my friend, Peter, today at our favorite lunch counter, Shari’s Cafe. He had painfully strained his back doing too much yard debris clearing the day before. As I left, I rubbed his shoulder and he smiled and said “Yes, just a little lower.” For that moment our connection had lightened the suffering he was experiencing.
It can be a relatively small and fleeting one, like when I passed the old guy at the nursing home in his wheelchair, who has one of the assistants there push him out to the highway, so he can watch people in traffic. He and I know each other only by the connection we’ve made when I first started honking and waving at him as I drive by in my bright yellow FJ. Both of us smile and wave enthusiastically at each other each time.
Sometimes, just a thought of a moment you shared with someone you loved deeply is enough to make your life feel so much richer, like today when I heard a familiar song play and remembered some of the last words my Momma said to me, “You’re a precious little person.” Each of these connections are so important to us as human beings, cherish every one of them!