It feels great to be back! The last few months have been a process to say the least: wading through emotions, personalities, and struggles that were quite unexpected. Through it all I have been leaning on my faith and thankful for yet another life tool my dad taught me – bodysurfing. Do any of you bodysurf?
Dad was a big lover of the ocean and he instilled that in me from a young age – not the sitting on the sand baking part, but the ocean with all its power and majesty. Bodysurfing taps into that – the power of being part of the wave, tumbling in the white froth of a wave’s aftermath, diving under a scary wave to the calm peaceful quietness below, or being slapped and knocked around by an unforeseen, rogue wave.
I have not bodysurfed in decades, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately because it makes me feel close to my dad. Then I realized how parallel it is to how I must navigate my new normal. For starters…
- One, in bodysurfing I must face the ocean and choose to walk out into it. Just like life, we must face it and step out into it.
- Two, I choose my wave to surf, swim hard to get in its current, and then use my hands (which are tight against my waist) like rudders to direct my ride. In life, we make goals, use our mind and skills to direct us, and work hard to reach them.
- Three, after finishing riding a wave there is the tumbling about in the froth kicked up by its crash, laughing and excited to get out and ride another wave. Reaching goals, spending time with friends and loved ones, laughing about silly things are all “froth” that keeps us coming back into the ocean of life.
- Four, some waves are too big for me so I take a deep breath and dive down under the wave to where the water is calm and quiet until it passes overhead. Sometimes life gets too crazy. That is when we take a deep breath, step away from the chaos and recharge for a bit.
- Finally, there is the rogue, unforeseen wave that knocks me down and tumbles me around a bit until I can get my footing again and push out from the wave’s “washing machine”. Life has many rogue, unforeseen experiences for us to navigate. We must remember to keep getting back up because the ride is worth it.
These past few months have been a series of rogue and unforeseen waves, frothy happy moments, and many dives deep down under the chaos of what has been happening to some quiet place of solitude. Now, however, it is time for me to get up again and step back out into the choppy waters of life and…bodysurf! Thanks, Dad.