The other day, in this beautiful cove, I was trying out stand-up paddle boarding for the first time. The only other person on this magnificent piece of North Shore Kauai was my Beloved friend Sandy. I fell over and over into the ocean. It is a very good thing, on occasion, to do something badly. The beginners mind is a good practice. You allow ‘not knowing’ to be your guide and it offers new insight and discovery. I soon realized that my core and my breath were the key to balance in swell, chop & current. Finding strength of center while unpredictably moving was only a fleeting experience yet just enough to let me know this is something I want to practice… To experience the ocean in this way.
At one point the wind and rain of a Hawaiian ocean squall came through. Huge drops of drenching tropical rain. I was not going to add wind to my balancing act so I stretched out on the board, on my back, and opened my arms to the deluge. It was a moment of transcendence. The rain and the wind and the ocean and the sky and my body on the board… Were one. I had the sense of all the paths that brought me to that place. My Heart was open, pouring with joy. I felt deep Gratitude for the gift of this moment, the gift of this lifetime. It was a perfect moment.
A couple days prior Sandy and I were with her Grandson and his friends at a different beach. It was the same kind of weather… Sun and squalls. Every time a squall came through, dumping rain, some people gathered up their stuff, ran for cover and left. We simply sat in the rain or if getting chilly, got in the much warmer ocean. After a bit the sun would come out and dry us and dry our things. New people would slowly arrive until the next squall when the beach would empty of people once again.
All of this has me thinking of running from the storms or dancing in the rain. It has me thinking of falling over and over to find the moment of balance. It has me reflecting on transcendent moments. Perfect moments… Moments of awe, wonder and joy.
Now I realize you may think… Well look at that photo, it is easy to ‘dance in the rain’ there. And yes, as I looked around, I too felt profound gratitude to be living a life where I find myself in such magnificent places. Yet I invite you to consider that perfect moments or transcendent moments can occur anywhere or anytime and in the simplest of ways. For me, when I do not experience ‘perfect moments’ or even sustained awe, wonder & joy… When I do not experience these ‘winks from The Divine’ it is how I know I am loosing my way. A reminder I am not paying attention to my core, my breath, my Heart.
Perfect moments occur all around us… The invitation to each of us, is to recognize them. To be fully present and alive in our own life. I have been asking myself, what keeps me alert to being fully alive? For me, it is the daily practice of three things: Silence, Gratitude and Presence. If I let any of them go too far away from my Journey. I fall off the damn board and do not always have the warm salty embrace of Mama Pacific to catch me.
I have been writing this in one of my favorite hang-out/writing spots on Kauai. It is comfortable and the crashing waves are beautiful music to my Soul. I return to Portland tomorrow so my musing about Silence, Gratitude and Presence will need to wait for another day. The ocean calls for my attention.
For now… I invite you to get quiet and still. Allow your attention to gently be on your breath. Find your core, your center… and know the stability that is there. With the beginners mind… Open your Heart and look around… Recognize what gives you joy. Remember your delight… It is right there… Waiting for you to notice.
Sending Sweet Salty Blessings from Kauai…