Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Love Forests, I Love Espresso & I Love My Mom

I began my surfing journey because I wanted to change my life. I wanted expansion and ecstasy, bliss and transformation, and I wanted it without having to leave my family or my life. I wanted to challenge the fantasy of narratives such as 'Eat,Pray,Love, ' in which a woman's nirvana is achieved through great distance, expense and solitude. I wanted happiness, not a divorce. And I wanted to surf.

Have I achieved what I set out for? I have.

I'm particularly aware of it right now because, in the topsy-turvy reality that's been my life lately, the tumbler has finally set. I'm not going to graduate school. I'm going to Tacoma, Washington. And I'm taking the family with me.

This is a wonderful outcome. I love journeys with undetermined outcomes. I love forests. I love espresso and I love my mom.This adventure will involve all of these. What it will not necessarily involve is surfing. Mountain biking? I hope so. But surfing? I've had to take many deep breaths to say to myself calmly, "Not likely." (Though "surf vacation" has become my new mantra).

When I began this blog, I had no idea it would come to such a natural conclusion. And yet here I am, in the final chapter (if not the final post) with the end in sight. I'm already planning my next blog "Bike, Love, Pray", "Hike, Love, Pray"? It's not quite clear.

I may just call it "Relocate, Love, Pray" and leave it at that.

Either way, the journey will continue even though the surf sessions may not. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Surfing in the Rain

Random Beach Photo. All my cameras are broken and I didn't want to bring my friend's loaner to the beach  today.
It's been almost a month since I went surfing and even longer since I posted to this blog. Incredible though it seems, I'd even forgotten that I had a blog until I read this post by my friend Lindsay Gallagher, about why she had't posted to her  blog for too long a time.

On the one hand, the days have been getting shorter and colder. Holiday festivities have been underway. Colds have been running rampant. And none of it has been making me want to get in the water. On the other hand, I've  been feeling cranky, hopeless and despairing.

Any connection to not surfing? I had to find out.

When I checked this morning's Venice Beach Surf Report, it said conditions were poor. I could see the evidence (no waves) on the live camera feed. But, struggling against inertia and a natural desire to be warm, I put my board on the wagon and drove to the beach anyway.

It was raining when I arrived and it was only the presence of two ten year old boys suiting up in the parking lot that made me push on. I wasn't going to wuss out if they weren't.

It turned out that there were waves. They were small but perfect, and I caught more of them than I can remember in a long time. And I got to enjoy something available to relatively few people in the world.

I bobbed on a surfboard  in the middle of the water and watched raindrops speckling the surface around me. Under silvery gray light, I saw the sky reflected in waves like abstract photograph negatives. And I felt the peacefulness of pelicans and gulls soaring above me.

Mood check? Much better.