the only one

09/28/2021 0 By BuddyCushman

I was in the Pacific Ocean last Saturday afternoon, with my boogie board. It was cloudy and gray, not so many people. Some guy was maybe 10 yards away from me and my lane of more unsuccessful rides than successes – each day a new day. He kept looking at me and at one point yelled over some advice, I believe, as to how I could do better. I did not hear what he said, but I yelled back thanks.

About 15 minutes later, after one of my faster, longer, bitchin’ rides, and when it was obvious he was getting ready to leave the water, he came over through the water to me and asked me how old I was. I said 72, and when I did his face lit up and he got this great smile. He said something else, like that’s great or cool or words like those. I was glad my birth certificate could be the source of a bit more happiness on the planet. Even, maybe, hope for that guy’s older age.

I was in the Pacific again early this morning – Tuesday morning – before nine, my first time out for a morning boogie. It was again gray and clouded over and the water temperature had dropped a few degrees. But I went out into the sea. Way over to my right was a lone surfer on his board and way over to my left was another lone surfer. As for me, I was the only person in the water at Moonlight Beach. The only one in the water.

I wondered if maybe I was the only boogie boarder in the Pacific Ocean at that very moment. Such a glittery thought.

My life, these days, is chock full with stuff. Good times, hard times; joys and sorrows; moments of wonder, like this morning, and moments of tears. Suit up and show up they told me, a long time ago, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do the best I can each day of this last half year. And now I honestly don’t know how long I’ll get to have this ocean by my side – within my easy reach. My future’s up in the air y.

Why suiting up (bathing suiting) and showing up this morning, even for only about seven or 10 minutes, was exactly the right thing for me today, a couple of hours before heading off to offer a few more laughs to the San Marcos kids. The joy is in the journey, right?

And, as Pema Chodron says – “This is all the path we have.”