I always feel pleasantly alive when my wife and I visit our favorite Maui beach, Napili. There's just something about a tropical beach that screams (or rather, murmurs) this is what life is all about.
It isn't just the warm air and water speaking. There's also something else. Elemental. Honest. Real. No need to try to name it. But I enjoy trying to talk about it.
Last year I blogged about some life lessons I've learned boogie boarding.
-- You can't control the big things.
-- You can control how you relate to big things.
-- Change is the only constant.
-- Don't be afraid of being the only one.
-- Rushing isn't necessary.
-- Missing an opportunity is no big deal.
-- Patience. Acceptance. Mindfulness.
-- Not knowing what you're doing is really doing it.
-- Get out of your mind! Go a little (or a lot) crazy!
During this year's Maui vacation I re-experienced these same life lessons. Heraclitus was right, though. Can't swim in the same ocean twice. So I'll share some 2012 Napili photos with fresh what life is all about observations.
Lots of footsteps on a now-empty beach. Can't tell which came from a rich person, or a poor one; from a black person, or a white one; from a sad person, or a happy one. Big waves will wash them away today, or tomorrow, or for sure, someday. We're all footsteps on a beach.
Islands on the horizon are real. So is the empty ocean. But there's a difference between them. Seeing a distant shore that doesn't exist... mirage! Such is the supernatural, religiosity, mysticism, spirituality -- when these aren't grounded.
Keeping our balance, the best we can, as the waves of life pass by. But falling down, splash, into the water, that's enjoyable also. No standing without falling. No such thing as the perfect surfer. Everyone falls. (Yes, it's possible to surf waves on stand-up paddle boards).
Being part of the wave... that's the key to riding a wave. Too early or too late; too left or too right. Not quite. There's a sweet spot which can be felt, yet not described. You know it when you're in it. Thinking not required.
Beaches erase inhibitions. Adults act like kids. Why can't we do this all of the time? Or at least, all the times the boss isn't watching. More silly, more crazy, more no reason not to. That's a great gift of beaches.
It's really easy to do nothing. Especially on a beach. Every life needs a beach, where nothing is the job to be done. I've learned more from nothing than from something. Got to keep up my learning, though. Always more to learn.
I can't make large waves come. Believe me, I've tried. Really tried. Doesn't work. No boogie-boardable waves, I sit on the beach. When there's big enough waves, I go in the water. Simple. Just flow with what is really happening, not with what I want to have happen.
There's a sunset at the end of every day. Always beautiful, even when we can't appreciate the loveliness. No sunset, no sunrise. Perpetual dark or light... not the way the Earth turns. Or life lives and dies.