Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Return to the Garden Isle

November 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

Making Friends with the Ocean

After nearly a year of living out of a suitcase, I am finally home on Kaua’i to breathe in the moist island air…to write, read, climb Nounou once more, and, dare I risk it…take a dip in the ocean? Many assume that I swim, living as I do on a small island in the middle of the horizonless Pacific, but alas, I have always been much more comfortable on a mountain’s edge than immersed in the depths of a vast ocean.  Having dislocated my left arm at Shipwreck Beach in Poipu several years ago (I knew intimately then why they called it “shipwreck”), I naturally have a healthy respect for the sea, but being an Aries with fire in my veins, I am always a little wary that the flame of my life may be prematurely and permanently doused in this immense vastness.

Today is a day for courage though.  At the invitation of my dolphin-like friend, Naoka, I reluctantly drag myself to Kealia Beach, with boogie board in hand and not a little trepidation in my heart.  The last time I’d braved the ocean was over a year ago, and I was tumbled like dirty laundry in the fast-spin cycle, caught as I was in a riptide.  It was my Qigong training that saved me as I reminded myself to relax and become one with the water…not the “breathe deeply” part, mind you – just become soft enough and move with the water rather than fighting against it.  By the time I was unceremoniously spit out of the ocean and onto the shore, I must have frightened more than a few pale visitors, covered as I was from head to toe in sand and seaweed…but I was alive!  Alive!

And here I am again, this time braving the waves with renewed commitment and focused intention:  not to conquer, for who can conquer the ocean, but to meet my admitted fear with some level of equanimity, if not friendliness. I withheld the other feeling in the pit of my gut – that feeling a pilot must get when his engine unexpectedly fails and his plane plummets over the watery earth to meet his impending…well…all righty then…let’s rethink the friendliness part.

…And so it was on this day, November 16, 2011, that I remitted some small portion of my fear of the ocean in the span of 2 breathless hours. Not only did I survive today’s venture rather swimmingly, but I entered Kealia again and again, each time with more trust and joy.  It is, perhaps, like making love with your beloved…giving yourself up to the enormity of the energetic connection between you, not in helpless surrender, but in deep honor of the vulnerability, mystery and intrinsic beauty of the other as you unite…

This was my Qigong practice today. Tomorrow, I will learn to dance Hula for the first time.  Though it is almost the end of the year, I give thanks for new beginnings and the uncompromising will of Grandmother Kaua’i who ensures I return regularly to her shores for a visit.  As my kumu quoted from the Hawai’ian proverb, Olelo No’eau – “A’a ka Hula waiho ka hilahila i ka hale” – When one wants to dance the Hula, bashfulness must be left at home.”  Let me throw caution to the wind then, and dance in your waves, O Kaua’i!


Of Land and Sea




4 Responses to “Return to the Garden Isle”
  1. Kimerly says:

    Oh Daisy, you are far braver than I could imagine being! I am a Cancer and dearly love the sea, even long for it daily, but only to listen to the surf and walk the shore. I, like you, feel safest with my feet on Mother Earth. I don’t even know if I’d be brave enough to do Watsu therapy with Francesco. I better put that on my ‘bucket list’…the Watsu, that is, not boogie boarding with ‘dolphins’. Even ones as wonderful as Naoka! Leave me to hike the mtn with Nanamua. Merry Christmas!

    • daisy_lee says:

      Merry Christmas to you too, Kimerly! Yes, mountains anytime,though I have grown to love riding the waves now that I’ve got the hang of it! I hiked Nou Nou today (Sleeping Giant)…a joy to be on the mountain on Christmas Day with the birds and bees…literally! There was a swarm just before the summit, and I wondered if they would listen to my request to move away so I could pass without incident…what do you know, they shifted a few feet and let me pass! Nature is amazing… Take good care out there and much love to you and Hunter!

  2. Sher says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. I love the way that you have described the essence of the sea and your fears. Beautiful writing. I hope to cross paths with you again, and learn more once again.
    Sher Wouters

    • daisy_lee says:

      Thank you for your kind thoughts, Sher! I have a story to share in the next blog post…I became “one” with the ocean, at great risk! :) I look forward to sharing another Qigong story with you soon! On dry land with gratitude ~ Daisy

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