Part 2 – 12.10.22
Coffee on the balcony looking out at the ocean. See, I want that life. I want that life every day, or at least every day that I’m not at the races. How do I get that life, and is that too much to ask?
We sat on the balcony for coffee every morning we were in Hawaii, and for the most part (by my lead), we did not speak. It was a time to acknowledge the enormity of what is actually beyond my everyday perspective and the never-ending stories that roll about in my mind. It was a time to see life through a wider lens, to pry open the death grip I have on my schedule and what I “need” to happen.
Several days, we watched a surfer paddle out to where waves should have been, only to sit on his board for an hour. There were no waves, guys. Little baby ones, but nothing worth waiting for. It bothered me. Surfer Man was out there, multiple days in a row, not doing anything.
But the more I (un-creepily) watched, the more I realized he was, in fact, doing something. He wasn’t waiting. He was looking out at the horizon, Maui to his back, Lanai to his left, Molokai to his right. He was paddling for baby waves once in a while, but mostly, he was just content to be in paradise, letting it be whatever it wanted to be.
I was not. I arrived on that island with expectations. Big ones. Day two, I sat in the sand looking at that beautiful ocean feeling like I was missing something. In the absence of being able to feel what I wanted, I struggled to feel anything. I just wanted it to be what I wanted it to be. It took way too long to let that go.
There’s that phrase again, the one I keep saying to myself: let it go. Everything off-kilter comes down to that phrase. Let it go. It might not be what you thought it was gonna be, but it’s gonna be okay.
Surfer Man wasn’t holding onto expectations, why was I? Why, there in that paradise, would I release a death grip on my schedule only to wrap it around what I thought I should feel?
My biggest gift on this trip: realizing that expectations so seldom meet reality, even in paradise, and you can still be as content as that surfer with no waves.
I’m not sure I’ve fully learned the lesson yet, but I’m getting closer. Surfer Man helped. The ocean always helps, you know?