The other day my daughter and I were talking – babies, weather, conditions of the heart, and exercise. I’d gone out on the water that day (Stand-Up-Paddleboard – SUP) for nearly two hours. She said, “I think I’d be bored.” Neither she nor I much like swimming because we find it boring, although we know people love it. Or indoor stuff, like treadmills or stationary anything. You’re not going anywhere, right? At least it feels that way to her and me.
But the next morning I was out my board, and I doubted me. Should I be bored? Was there a better way? And for a few minutes, I was impatient about how slowly I traveled, how I thought music might help. Or maybe I should pick up running again. You’re not as confined by Mother Nature that way.
Then I thought about my childhood. All my life I’ve sought refuge in quiet alone times. From sitting in the curve of an apple tree reading, to riding horses for hours, or running alone. Other moments of internal freedom came in being on water, toes in sand and the sound of the sea, the majesty of the Canadian Rockies and the deafening stillness of their back country.
The story of the SUP board: On a vacation several years ago in Kauai, our resort had a paddleboard lesson in the main pool. I watched grown men fall repeatedly, laughing as they sputtered to the surface. The next summer, I said to my husband, “I want a SUP board.” I think I may have said it like, “I’d like a cup of coffee.”
He said, “Wouldn’t you like to take a lesson, or rent one first, just to make sure this is right for you?” Fair question.
“No,” I’d said in quiet confidence, “I just know.” (Don’t you just love that?!?)
I researched boards. Good ones are not inexpensive. I asked surfer friends their opinions. And I found the brand I wanted. Designed in New Zealand. We made the investment. You’ve got to love a husband who trusts your sense of rightness about something.
The day after my first ride on the river I discovered muscles I didn’t know existed in a body…clear down to my toes. And I loved it. It fed me at rich, deep levels. On water! Sunrises on the river. Fish jumping. Ospreys diving for breakfast. The sounds of a world slowly waking to a day. A mind that typically zings along at Mach 4 stills, and it and my heart immerse ourselves “in the moment.”
This is my third summer walking across our lawn to the water’s edge, putting in, and communing with nature. So, why did I even have that conversation in my head?
Because an outcome – a vulnerability – of my childhood was a loss of trust. In others, for sure, but more – in me. Doubt. Second guessing.
It took me a long time to allow the germ of my intuition to sprout again, nurtured by corroboration from my sisters, watered by diary entries uncensored by parental controls. But I gained confidence with and about my intuition and promised to honor it. I know my truth. That statement grounds me. I know my own truth.
My daughter made an “I” statement. She would be bored for two hours on a paddleboard. That’s all it was. And, after doing a set of mental gymnastics she didn’t ask me to do, I reaffirmed, that for me, at one with nature works every time. In this I trust.