Stewardship and riding the wave

A few days ago my partner Tony, a lifetime Surfer, came home with a Surfboard for me as a gift.

I am an ocean girl, born in Fiji, bare feet, sand, sun and the ocean in my veins.

But I have never surfed, even though I am in the ocean most days year-round.

Yesterday we took my new board, yet to be named, for a test run. Gentle waves, clear ocean, incredible sunrise. 

Surfing, not surprisingly, is like life. And leadership.

You must commit. You have to be patient. You need to know the waves, sense into the ocean, each day, each hour different.

Like a farmer with land, to know the ocean takes years. To atune to. Breath with. Partner with. Not to seek to dominate, as is our childish way. Or to ignore, as we have done. Nature has our measure in spades. 

And when a wave comes, you must seize it with all of your heart. Paddle hard, hard hard. To catch it. Or it will pass you by. This requires strength, courage, commitment.

And then allow the wave to take you…to trust it. 

Incidentally, and paradoxically, the faster the wave, the easier to stand. The riskier it feels, the easier to stand. 

With the risk comes delight. Riding a wave, being in nature. The power of the ocean. Truly humbling.

The design of the board helped immensely. It was far easier to paddle, far easier to get up. The tools we choose, the instruments of our partnering, matter.

The leader as Steward, like the surfer, begins with respect for. Respect for the whole, for nature, Earth, people, that which they are stewarding.

They might select the right instrument, the structure that enables their stewardship to partner with ease. 

They atune to the field, the ecology. They are patient. They are willing to journey from apprentice to mastery. To learn, adapt, relearn, readapt. Sit on the edge of the wave, waiting, waiting, waiting.

And then paddle hard, hard, hard, when the moment is right. 

To ride the wave. 

PS. The photo was taken by a passing stranger. That is me, writing, with Milly beside me.

Photo taken April 3rd, 2020, by Jen



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