Monday, July 14, 2014

This Is Your Life

This is your life...
Is it everything you dreamed it would be?
Don't close your eyes.
This is your life.
Are you who you want to be?

We didn't have to be at the stage to enjoy the music and lively spirit of Switchfoot's tenth annual Moonlight Beach Concert. Switchfoot Bro-Am is three days of concerts and events to benefit children, where Switchfoot continues their mission of supporting local at-risk, homeless, and street kids. We arrived in time for some music, surf, and the good company of our community, and while we sat at the water's edge, played in the waves, and enjoyed all the day had to give, we could hear the lively and heartfelt music of a great local band. Sweet.

The water was good. I wish I could describe how good... how the surf wakes me, right down to my cells; how the waves carry away doubts and worries, how something as big and wild as an entire ocean can open itself and receive us, and give us a day of simple pleasures. Really, that good. Maria and I paddled, swam, jumped, floated, and laughed. I was reminded of things I believe... we are not on this planet, we are this planet, and the more we respect and honor ourselves, each other, this place that is our home, and our selves, the better everything can be, for everyone. And everything good that is shared becomes better. Our resources, and our music, our time, our kindness... all of it grows and improves when we let it flow, and be shared. It's not hard to get caught up in a riptide, to be carried away by fear, by selfish beliefs, but there's too much at risk, when we don't break from that mentality, when we struggle for the shore. It was a crazy crowded day at the beach, but we took the shuttle down, we shared a spot on the sand, and we played. It makes me hope that our beaches will always be clean, open, safe, and inviting, that our community will always strive to look out for everyone, so that we can all enjoy the simple pleasures, the good waves, the fresh air, education, equal rights, shelter, food, love, and respect.

Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamillas, and Drew Shirley love to give back to the community where they grew up, where they play, and I think that is really cool. Our day, hearing their music, seeing the dancing crowds, and enjoying our own fun on the beach inspires me to do more of the same... to give back. I feel better living in a world that I feel I am a part of, where the people around me are well, and cared for, where compassion and respect are foremost, because the good health and strong welfare of our community and our environment is good for us all.

I tell ya'... a little surf and sun, and the deep thoughts and other musings just come pouring out!

There was quite a bit of kelp on the beach. I grabbed one piece and wrapped a head lei for Maria. Then, three young women, playing beside us in the water, asked me to please, please make them some, too. They found good pieces, and I rolled out three more head leis. Then we found an awesome length of kelp stipe, full of long blades, and plump pneumatocysts. It made a beautiful sea-maiden's skirt, and Maria danced on the sand, and in the surf. Is it only when we are two, or four, or nine years old, that we are so willing to play, to embrace this life, and be who we want to be? I like to believe that, at any time, we can open our eyes, and live a dream, be who we want to be, and that we are eager to share, to let others play, too.


Unknown said...

Yes! I second your belief that we're part of this planet as opposed to being on it. Beautiful musings; being out in nature always stirs those feelings in me too. Love the Maria as a mermaid!

warren said...

We played like this with seaweed/kelp at the beach too and it was a lot of fun. The kidswere great sports and it was great to get the weird looks from other people on the's great to not have a care!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

My father-in-law, Phil, has been sharing a link to this CB post on his FB wall. His gesture really touches my heart. I wrote: "{Thank you for sharing this post. It really means a lot to me... one, to have your endorsement and appreciation, and two, because I wrote it in gratitude and love for Geoff Van Valkenberg. He had the foresight and drive to get me out of the house, to brave the hassles and crowds. And it was wonderful how great the day turned out. Geoff is the wave that washes away my fears and doubts. Thank you for being his father~}"

And then my sister-in-law, Gretchen, added a really kind comment, and I want to save her words, too: "Hi Natalie Van, I enjoyed reading that blog very much. And I like what you wrote above about Geoff being the wave that washes away your fears and doubts. I feel that way with Hans. We are lucky women."

We are very lucky. Thank you, Phil, Gretchen, and Geoff.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Oh, and what better place to have your heart and spirit stirred, than Hawaii? Aloha, Kim~
And thank you.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

You guys were totally into your surf scene. The ocean rocks! And those waves wash away the worries!