Friday, August 8, 2008

Simon and the Ocean

It's still difficult for me to put into words the emotions
surrounding what happened yesterday.  I've tried 2 drafts
of this entry already.

Simon is my 4 month old grandson.  Yesterday morning for
the 1st time in his young life he stood ( with my help) at the
shoreline and felt the ocean as it lapped up on his tiny feet. 
My son Noah, Simon's father, stood at our side sharing similar
overwhelming feelings. 

In many cultures  the ocean is special.   It's not merely a body
of water but rather a spiritual, holy place, a church of sorts. 
The place from which all life springs.  I know that for Noah and I,
like many other surfers and waterman all around the world, we
feel a great reverence towards the ocean and all it represents and
is.  Yesterday we brought Simon into our world, a world we both
hope will become his too someday. It was a baptism of sorts.

Matt Walker recently wrote a wonderful piece on "Surfing as Religion".
It appeared in, of all places, Surfing Magazine.  Matt reminded us
that "Tom Blake carved "Nature = God" into a rock decades ago". Many of
us certainly understand what Blake was thinking.  Walker goes on to
discuss Dr. Bron Taylor  who authored an article entitled "Surfing into
Spirituality" in the Journal of the American, that also validated the feelings
that many of us share.

Hopefully, yesterday, my grandson took his first step towards becoming a
member of what Taylor called the "Aquatic Nature Religion".  I know that
both Noah and I hope so. Research tells us that individuals with strong
spiritual beliefs are better able to cope with the demands of life.  What do you
believe in?


1 comment:

Matt Walker said...

hey, bill
was just searching for an online version of that story and came across this post
thanks for the kind words and including me in such a special moment (or at least a write up about such a special moment)

hope you're winter's going better than ours in NC
take care