What is it about blue water that makes one feel as though they could walk on water…or maybe fly on water would work better for my tale? One of the most interesting summers I think I’ve ever passed was the year I decided that I would become a wind surfer. I could just imagine the wind in my hair as I smoothly glided upon the lake, then jibeing against the wind to come back to the shore, finally floating up onto the beach. I’d seen other surfers doing just that so often, and well what would it take, just learn how to remain balanced on the board and hold the sail, right?
Not so easy!
It took me quite a while to be able to stand up on the surf board and longer still to pull the sail up while doing so. I couldn’t even count the times I fell into the water only to have to climb back on the board and try again. Once I was able to do that I had to get the sail into the wind. Then sail against the wind, or tack. Finally, after a few weeks I could putter up and down the shore without making a complete ass of myself!
The day came when I thought I was ready to take on the afternoon wind, on Lake Garda it’s called the “ora”. The really experienced surfers don’t even go near the water until the “ora” comes up. You can see it coming…the wind changes the color of the lake as it whips up the water, from deep blut to nearly white. I saw it coming that day, so I got my life jacket and wet suit on, pulled my board into the water, attached the sail, hand-paddled out a bit from the shore and raised my sail to the wind!
What a fantastic feeling, to just lay back and let the wind carry you out! Then, I tried to jibe and found myself in the water, with other surfers whizzing past me. I got back onto my board, but I couldn’t raise the sail. The wind was too strong for me and would knock it and me back into the water. After about a half an hour of fighting the situation, the cold was seeping into me and my strength was waning. Finally, I laid stomach down on my board and started to paddle back to shore. It took me a good hour, but I made it. I felt pretty silly, what would everyone think of me. The answer was, nothing. No one even noticed except my son, who came along to give me a hand to walk the sail and board back to the surf club.
All throughout my life, I’ve always bitten off a lot to chew, sometimes the situations I’ve gotten myself into are not only humiliating, but darned dangerous. I risked hypothermia and being run over by my fellow surfers, far worse than what really bothered me then, getting my pride hurt. I built up my strength and kept on trying. I finally did fly on the water, but it took more time than I had thought it would an a dose of humility.
humility is born
checking great pride
then wind sings