Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Used to be a Surfer

I get these quick flashes in my mind of diving beneath the ocean, or swimming at sunrise, or watching my shadow swim beneath me in the crystal, clear waters of the Hawaii beaches where I grew up. They are quick flashes of memories, that hold still for only seconds in my mind, before I am snapped back to reality. I never bother to hang onto them very long, because they are not my reality anymore. But, deep down the memories are still there, and I am holding onto them, if only for seconds.

The other day I had a quick flash of memory of what it feels like to duck dive beneath a big, blue wave, surfboard beneath my body, salt water filling my eyes and nose. It felt so good. I could literally feel the ocean around me, as I popped to the surface again, -breathing fresh air, then paddling, paddling through the choppy sea.

It seems that everyone has a past life, especially as I talk to my other parent friends, who reminisce"I used to be a full-time yoga instructor, I used to run marathons, I used to write novels, I used to travel the world, I used to love staying up all night painting......" Each looking back with fondness at life before diapers, night-waking, and jobs that require a family income.

"I used to be a surfer,"
I try to explain to my 4 year old. But it doesn't register too much in his mind. Oh well. Sometimes when we're lying in bed, he asks me to tell him bedtime stories about when I was little. So I begin the story of "Little Mommy going surfing in Hawaii," explaining in detail, what I can remember, were my favorite things about surfing:

-Clean, glassy waves, about head high, on a hot,sunny day.
-Gliding into the water, surfboard beneath me, while navigating the best route through the crashing waves and currents.
-Feeling the salt water splash my face, and arms, and toes, as I paddle out beyond the crashing waves.
-Feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and alive, with each duck dive.
-Watching the little fishes scatter as I paddle by.
-Sitting out in the deep, blue sea, legs dangling over my board, soaking in the view before me; green mountains, coconut trees, white sandy beach, friends houses lining the shore....
-Deciding which surf break will get better as the day progresses--- Perhaps Laniakeas, Pupukeas, Rocky Lefts, Velzeyland, Chuns, or Ehukai sandbars. So many possibilities, as the winds, and tides and currents change.
-Paddling into a wave, dropping in, crouching down, and feeling like I'm flying-literally flying over the ocean.
-Holding onto that rush-that natural high-and smiling bigger than I should be, as I paddle back out to catch another one.
-Getting caught in a current, and feeling my muscles pull hard against the ocean, until I finally pop out into the calm, stillness again.
-Catching my last wave in, exhausted yet exhilarated, heading home to eat and take a nap, until a sunrise session.

(a very 16 year old me)

When I'm done, I look over and he is fast asleep. And I have tears dripping down my face, remembering a time that is past gone. Oh well.
I wouldn't trade my life now for all the surfing sessions in the world, and this isn't really a post about sacrificing, or changing, or finding time as a Mom. It's simply just about missing surfing. My husband Micah always likes to say, "If you don't miss anything in life, maybe you've never truly lived."

I totally agree, and I totally miss surfing.


Tina said...

Cool Pictures.

Unknown said...

Wow Sal - you called today while I was riding with my friend on way to surf town - I was watching & trying to take some good pictures - you know how I am so alot were of "duck diving" - watching was joy although not immersed in the pure thrill- so coincidental w/now reading your blog & you painted a picture I could almost feel. love u

Sarah said...

Love this post. I would love to see you surfing. It sounds like such an amazing, exhilarating experience. I think it's silly for moms to say they don't miss aspects of their life before kids. We all do. But it keeps us remembering who we are sans kids. I loved the little peek into your memories. Thanks for sharing, Sally.

Vanessa said...

Sally. Do I really have to say that I completely relate? Completely. I love Micah's quote... when I start to miss previous experiences, I'll remember that.

Sally Jackson said...

Vanessa, I had you in mind when you said you used to teach Yoga. It's always inspiring to me to see other Moms who have gotten busy being Moms, and are okay with that. Thanks!

Becki said...

This is the Sally I knew. You'll always be a surfer to me.