“Mummy! I can feel the ocean in my body!”…Yani has been lying on the sand at the beach with his eyes closed after catching his first big wave from out ‘the back’ and is feeling ecstatic.
As the weather gets warmer Pacha, Yani and I have all been spending more time in the ocean. For the past 10 days we have been getting up very early to practice and learn more about surfing before school, with help and friendly advice from a local surfer, Tim. At the same time we’ve been learning survival skills as we watch and learn from the moods of the sea – where are the tides going today, what do you do when you get ‘dumped’?
We challenge our fears as the powerful waves loom over us and we make the split second decisions to go under or over or ride it in. We learn to let go when we are being tumbled about by the dumping waves, forces so much great than us. We smile in sheer delight as we see the dolphins, sea birds and fish. We wonder about sharks, but understand that the risk is so much less than that we take when we drive in cars. We experience humility and awe in the intense beauty of the magnificent ocean. We feel deep respect and connection.
And we’ve been reading lots of books and watching movies about surfing…the more immersion, the more realization about how perfectly it fits in to a Slow, deep ecology culture. Yes, there is also competition and commercialism in surfing – but you can choose to be involved in that or not – surfing remains with or without the ‘products’ and it feels like it is a gift of knowledge and experience that the children will have ‘for life’.
Ollie licks our skin and our hair to taste the salt of the sea when we get home…one day it would be lovely to bring him along!
photo: big snake on the road after a surf session and her friend on Ollie on the weekend
Photo: Pacha and Yani are looking after our baby chickens.