We head out of town for approx 20km to a dirt, sandy track where we hold on tight. Luckily our driver is excellent at negotiating the track (Note yesterday Matt & I were on a scooter and nearly dropped it more than a few times driving down the sandy tracks). We arrive at the Lighthouse and greeted with a welcoming smile by Anathan.
In the late arvo/ early evening we paddle out for our first wave. Somehow the paddling seems easier compared to when I was learning in Perth, I assume that’s because I can now swim properly thanks to triathlon training and those great sessions with Laura and Fiona.
Matt gives me pointers on how to duck dive, I still manage to guzzle half the ocean, or my board ends up slipping out behind me, or I literally get a slap on the face from the wave.
I try to catch my first wave (aka whitewash) and fall off. Up I get and paddle back as well as rehydrating with sea water. Exhausted, I hang out for a bit then realise I’ve drifted! Paddle paddle paddle again again and again. While I struggle a little I remember a quote from from a book I read in India “Saltwater Buddha: A Surfers Quest to Find Zen”. The quote is”samsara is nirvana” meaning life is like paddling, it’s hardwork but you have to enjoy it while you are doing it, as with life. So I paddle on with heavy arms repeating “samsara is nirvana”.
Feeling tired after an hour I ask Matt to help me pick my last wave of the day… Off I go, paddle paddle paddle.. I look up… And oh my, see a spectacular sun setting over coconut palms. I smile… Then fall off before even attempting to stand.
I sit on the shore and peacefully watch the ocean. I feel truly grateful for the magic of life and the magic of love.
Day one was not a success in standing, I have regained some arm strength back and a stronger paddle mindset.