That feeling of being fully alive

Learning to surf in the Southern Hemisphere winter means getting into cold water, often before the sun is fully risen.

That shock of cold water tests commitment. 

It is a temporary discomfort. Once in the experience is about the water, the sun, the waves, the learning. Busy paddling, busy catching waves, busy getting tossed around and getting back on the board. 

Like so many things, that temporary discomfort is the needed threshold to cross to engage fully with life. 

Getting out of a warm bed, getting into a cold ocean, being the novice, the klutz.  All arms and legs and minimal co-ordination. 

Age tends to diminish our desire to step into the discomfort. To learn how to be a tech-savvy person. To listen to the music of the young. To immerse in pop culture.

That feeling of being fully alive is so often only found on the other side of the threshold. There is a personal triumph to it. That deep satisfaction of knowing that in resisting the temptation to stay comfortable, to feel ‘safe’ (which is most often a delusion) we deny engagement with the wave of life itself.

This morning, now after our surf, chilled to the bone, I am profoundly happy. Tested by the ocean, the cold, the waves, and despite still being a surfing klutz, I am alive and loving every moment.

Photo taken July 18th, 2020