“Surfing is an individual expression of one’s own worth and one’s own ability to participate directly with nature. And what makes it really enjoyable to me is that every wave is different…there’s a special, non-repetitive pleasure in it that never gets boring.” –Otis Chandler
I’ll admit it. I didn’t sleep well last night. There wasn’t late night music going on downstairs. I wasn’t ill. I simply didn’t have the means to let go of work issues and I took them to bed with me (funny how when you try to let go of issues they just keep resurfacing…reminds me of my father rototilling up rocks in our backyard when I was young. We’d have to go out and pick rock from the dirt again and again and again. It seems it was a whole summer process and it got boring after rock ten). Anyhow, I didn’t get until almost eight; this is rare, as I’m usually up at the crack of dawn.
I got up and managed a half-assed attempt to go jogging. As I headed towards the spiral staircase, the back way up to my apartment, my landlord, literally Mr. Happy himself, pulled into the adjacent parking. We said our “Good mornings” and I headed up the stairs.
I decided I would go out for coffee and try to meet up with a friend who I haven’t seen in a while. I sent him a text and he sent a message back “In Mancos and heading to Durango.” Of well, I finished my bowl of cereal and slipped into my flip-flops and out the door. I’d go to the coffee shop on my own.
The Sprucetree Coffee Shop is open under a new owner. I had been frequenting it through the winter and usually found some friendly conversation. I hadn’t been in in some time and most of the regulars were not to be found. I did have a couple of teacher friends get in line behind me; they were having their own conversation, so I let them to themselves.
I drank my cappuccino and looked through a book on spiritual retreats I’d pulled off from one of the shelves. It felt too quiet. I needed to find some life.
I hiked to go to the bank and decided I’d finish my coffee on the way. I’d gotten to the bank just as it opened for Saturday hours. I always enjoy going into this bank. It is especially friendly and the people who work keep a jovial spirit rolling along. It’s nice to know my money is safe and with good humor.
On my Main Street hike, I’d seen a sign for a yard sale north on Washington. I flip-flopped my way down the street and found the sale. I looked at a guitar leaning against a tree and asked the price.
“$140,” said the man sitting on the back bumper of a pick-up. I wandered around looking at the rest of the items.
Somehow, at the point I can’t quite remember how, the conversation of houses came up. I mentioned looking for an affordable house.
“I got mine at auction for fifty-two thousand. It’s got a full basement. The place was a mess, but I got the inside cleaned out and I’ll take care of the rest,” he explained.
“I had a house back east. I bought it and cleaned to get rid of toxins because of health issues.”
“I’ve got toxicity issues too. What were you dealing with?”
I explained all of the symptoms, time and money I’d invested in cleaning out my body; it appears he has similar issues. Anyhow, we talked for some time and I shared some names, book titles and website for him to explore.
Just as I was about to leave a friend who’d taken over as renter at the shack of a house I’d once rented approached with her boyfriend. She picked up the guitar and began to play it. We laughed a little as I’d been considering returning to purchase it. I told the seller, “She’ll give the guitar a good home,” and left shortly after.
My next stop as I wandered town was the Methodist Thrift Store. I typically go in and scan the high end items in the case up front (high end usually means over $5), then I head to the bookshelves in the far corner. As my eyes wandered over the titles on row after row of book spines, I heard a familiar laugh. A couple I’ve known for many years were having fun reading coffee mugs to each other. I stepped from behind my shelf, said hello and a conversation pursued.
Now I am back at my kitchen table, writing about the morning and looking through a book I purchased at the thrift store. Surfing He’e Nalu: Hawaiian Proverbs and Inspirational Quotes Celebrating Hawai’i’s Royal Sport sits next to my laptop and I am contemplating some rock climbing this afternoon.
My social life is a kind of surfing. I go from place to place and see where the waves of conversation are to be had. My morning has been rich with spoken words and laughter. If the waves of social interaction are too great, I tumble about and find I may be prey to the sharks. I often feel new to this kind of surfing. I sometimes feel ill prepared. But surf I will!
Here’s hoping your life is fill with nice waves and intervals of calm water.
“Never turn your back on the ocean”