Most people think that the hardest part about surfing is getting up on the board but the deception is that surfing is more than standing up straight on a shaped piece of wood to ride a wave. Not only do we have to get the timing right but we are contending with the ocean, something much larger than us.
What gets us in trouble is thinking that we are bigger than the ocean. I hadn't been on my surfboard in six months and my biggest fear about getting out on the ocean was getting past the breaks in the water. They are unpredictable and I have found myself getting battered by the water. My board hit me on the head twice yesterday (luckily, not hard but hard enough to remind me that I'm not in charge out there).
All three days I tried to surf on this trip, the water was breaking twice which made it more difficult to get to the lineup but it also made it great because you could have two chances to surf one wave.
While I love finding coins and the sense that they are left for me by my loved ones who have died, I sometimes joke that I wish I would find messages on sticky notes because I sometimes need the clarity.
After attempting to surf at Hungtington Beach yesterday, I sat on the beach for a while with a book I was reading. Although it's a self-help book, several chapters felt negative to me and I left the beach feeling worse than when I started reading. After dealing with a dead battery in the surf mobile, I returned to Palos Verdes and sat down with another book while I ate a late lunch.
One line from this book stood out:
My friend Bonnie always used to say that we should sow our seeds where we are planted. She was the child of an oil field worker and then married one and she knew well what it was like to move frequently. But she tried to be present and involved no matter where she was at the time.
For the year and a half that I resided in my hometown outside Chicago, I tried to do that. I involved myself in life there as much as I could. While I continued to travel quite a bit, I wrote for the newspaper, attended weekly Mass, and tried to get together with friends as much as possible. Because Naperville is a very family oriented town, it often was difficult for me as a single person (the only man to ask me out the entire time I lived there was hovering around 70 years old).
I tried though. I planted flowers in my front yard. I talked to people when I was out run-walking the dogs. Beacuse I work at home I made sure I left the house most days to run errands and connect with people.