I have lived in Hawaii for three years now. Since moving here I have been on an eternal quest for Hawaii's equivalent, for me, to skiing. I have been seeking that activity that brings every good natural feeling in your body together to form one otherworldly feeling greater than the sum of their parts. I want to feel the perfect balance of thrill and inner reflection. Skiing used to provide me with this. I would find myself standing on the top edge of a steep powdery line overlooking the vast expanse of jagged, snow-covered peaks. My ski tips stuck out over the ledge to where if I leaned ever-so-slightly forward, I would careen forward down the chute and disappear into the sparkling powder. Before I took the plunge, I would always pause, look out afar and take a deep breath. It was almost like I could inhale all the marvelous vastness of the universe, including God. I could inhale the energy of all living things. It was the most incredible feeling. Then I would drop in and cascade my way through pillows and creamy blankets of snow. These moments are when I would feel the most spiritual, the most pure, and the most alive.
A lot of people would automatically assume the activity I might most identify with in Hawaii would be surfing. I tried that...it was fun. I wasn't very good and I found myself really, really pissed off most of the time. I tried body boarding. It was fun too. I was less pissed off but the euphoric feeling I got from skiing just wasn't there. Everything changed a few weeks ago.
We were invited over to a friends house to do a bit of stand-up paddle boarding. I had been before in Washington, where the dark, 38 degree water deters you from doing anything other than carefully and slowly pulling your paddle through it. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that it's a whole different sport in Hawaii!
After a few weekends of renting and borrowing boards, I am totally hooked. So hooked that Hasselhoff and I went out and bought our own boards.
This evening's paddle was a great one. I can't tell you how much I needed it. My heart has been heavy this week with family troubles, illnesses, and just overall discontentment. Once on the water, gliding over the waves with sea turtles swimming around me, I was taken right back to the snowy ledge. Standing on my board, looking out at the open ocean, the setting sun reflecting off the water, I took a moment to reflect and clear my head.
Its been three years since we moved here, and for the first time, I feel like I finally found that outlet I have been missing. It really is amazing how mother nature provides us with such simple, healing remedies for our ailments...who would've known I just needed a paddle-board to tap into it!?