As much as I'd like to believe I'm young at heart, the stranger matching my every move in my peripheral vision in store windows or mirrors reminds me time has moved on at a shocking rate. Rapidly greying hair, sun-etched lines mapping over 40 years of expressions, old injuries coming home to roost. This is not a unique or new revelation for a human being to experience; we all feel the pull of time accelerating. My daughter is nearly six years old already. Time is crawling for her and she wishes she was older, taller, more capable. I tell her to enjoy this time; to savour the pure present moment unfettered with the years of self-dialogue, experience, and expectation that comes with age. I envy her a little. She's able to drop into the NOW so easily. As adults, many of us have a "practice" to access the NOW. Consider that for a moment. We tend to pile so much on top of what is happening in the present: past stories, future expectations, past experiences. This obfuscates our perception like fog filtering through the forest or wind-spray shredding the features of the ocean surface. It's laughable, really, that the moment is here for us to experience just as it is yet we seem to love to add to it with unnecessary complexity or even delusion.
So what does being in the ocean bring to my life? Why do I continue to pursue what the uninformed might consider "childish" pursuits like windsurfing, kiteboarding, or surfing? For me, the fastest way to get a massive dose of NOW is to throw myself into frigid, gale swept, heaving/frothing ocean or to drop into a long, glassy wall with only the sound of rail and fins as a soundtrack. I'm long past being labelled an "adrenaline junkie". It's peace I find on days with critical conditions. I find the self-imposed limits I employ in daily life evaporate like heat signatures shimmering on a desert highway's horizon. They are exposed for the mentally-manufactured mirages that they are. Here, my age is irrelevant. My story is irrelevant. Hopes, disappointments, self loathing, ego, future, past; all irrelevant.
Here, I am.
Many thanks to photographer extraordinaire, Mike Nash, for the images below of a recent session I so enjoyed in my backyard. You can see more of his work at westcoastcaptures.com