DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 3: “We love surfers for the same reasons we have always admired doctors and pilots and firemen and shamans, for the same reasons we admire excellent soldiers: because despite themselves they have bowed to a force much greater than themselves, which in this case is the wave, and submitted to the gnarly rigors of its discipline. They have allowed themselves to be shaped and polished by the sea. They have given themselves up to this greater force, day after day, year after year. Crushed and punished, battered into something tempered and resilient, and sharpened to an edge by constant refinement. They are warriors in the best sense: by bending to the often brutal demands of surfing they have transformed themselves into beings who can respond to great violence with grace and humility. And beauty.”― Peter Heller
I love, love, love this quote! It makes my heart so happy. I never really saw the discipline required to surf in such grand eloquence before. I love the sport, have done it over the course of many years, not so much these days (it’s been 2 or 3 years and the last few times were not up to my liking); so consider it something from my past.
But, I love the ocean and the romance and idea of surfing. I can honestly imagine myself sitting in the line for another 10 years or so, just not that physically great at some of it as I once was. Sad, but okay. It is a beautiful thing…and I was never all that good at it. It just makes my heart very, very happy. And because we were really high a lot of the years that I participated in it on a daily basis, I never really saw the discipline. It was my joy, my freedom, my Zen, my spot in the world where it all fell into place.
I have other things that resonate with me like this today. I am blessed.
The truth is this…all of my life is a discipline…a bowing down to the forces and powers that are greater than me.
I write, and accept that some days are better than others. Some times I feel connected to what I am saying, other days I am forcing the words out of my fingers and the flow isn’t quite right. It shows in what comes out. Okay…I see that I am not in charge there.
I garden, absolutely in the thrall of Powers I cannot foresee or control…weather, water, soil, birds eating seed, bugs eating flowers or crops or me…all of it.
I hike, in places where natural beauty is awe-inspiring and uplifting and sometimes makes me want to cry. I am limited by my physical body, which sometimes goes through challenges I have yet to come to terms with. They increase all the time, and then they go, and it is okay. Powerless, yet again.
I live as close to the ocean as I can get. It is the force that pulls me, all the time, to be a part of its majesty, power, beauty, peace and calming or stormy presence. I cannot imagine ever feeling anything but awe when I encounter it, daily, hourly or consistently throughout a period of time. Always in awe, always in respect of its incredible force.
It is a discipline to breathe…each breath a gift that I am working to be mindful of…each time it happens. Isn’t this a lovely way to look at the disciplines we are subjecting ourselves to? I think so…and I will continue to love this life in just this fashion…every breath, every step, every hour of every day. Life is amazing and beautiful. I am blessed, again and again.