The Ride of Her Life, Photo by BradensEye featuring Grandma’s beach

Surprises often encompass the best presence we can receive. My fiftieth birthday plan was a masterfully carved last-minute masterpiece of global-hopping scenery. Only, our world started to topple with COVID-19, sending me shooting back to the states way before all the countries were complete. No matter, there was unthinkable endowment waiting to amaze me. While the virus went viral and my hunkering in Oz was swept from my safety, little did I know what the universe was scheming. Committed to traipsing, I tend to follow my gut instincts. Within twenty-four hours of our POTUS pre-announcing his Global Level 4 Health Advisory I’d contacted a targeted set of trusted family members to see where I should and could be holing up for the limbo of this indefinite pandemonium. Grandma’s gift is a result which arrived amidst my isolating. A new euphemism I’ve handmade representing the light at the end of those proverbial tunnels we must tread through.

There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away. ~Kay, Sarah (sera)

Once upon my youthful twenties, I dared to try surfing exactly one day. My initial LA boyfriend was convinced he would be a good surfer. To give you the correct picture, neither of us suffered for lack of any meals, Plus, he was raised in Alabama, nowhere near the Gulf Coast. In much hindsight, his very shortie board was clearly my demise. However, I allowed the entire experience to build this vast story around why I wasn’t tackling this culture that had ultimately cheered my calling to the Pacific side of our country, to begin with. For decades since, I complained of the cold, then algae-ridden, waters compared to my warm Atlantic upbringing. I never braved the profuse connections to big-wig, local, or friends who surfed that I had access to who’d offered to teach me. I kept embellishing the ideal of my first real surfing date. To say the least, I’d been manifesting this moment for more than half a century when she stunned me with all her glory recently.

So, God had loaned me Hawaii as opposed to Australia for my quarantine protection. I’d left the seafront of heavily accented surf tribes I felt might be my future family for cooler ripples of foam. Yet, what I hadn’t ever imagined was one of my dreams coming true. Surrounded by a crisis, it’s hard to include fantasies in one’s forecasting. Here’s where my own special relationships spiked the spiritual stew forming. The dear cousin, who’s guest space I was laid up inside, had always taken a liking to me by his side. Hearkening back to his teen years bonding with my elder age of taking him out late into the street light nights of New York City. After moving to Maui, he’d picked up an Oahu childhood fav of surfing with a rewired pledge of performance with the board. Without any formalities, he’d casually mentioned taking me out someday. When a certain Saturday free of work opened up, we got our break. Except, I wasn’t fully briefed. But, like many major accomplishments in life, it’s the flow that guides one’s best way.

She’s got the lines that I could never write ~ Steve Kopandy, She’s Got Perfection

His wife had merely texted me the day before noting she was heading to seek swells the following early morn. Eager to get my second taste of freedom from solitude in the last month (as she’d taken me swimming prior), I replied asking if I could join for another dance with the sea turtles lolling about. Sure enough, the three of us were piling into the truck the next sunup. Conveniently, the largest of all surfboards I’d seen in eons was snugged tightly amongst the lot on the roof. My simple figments of getting closer to marine life whilst floating on my back were fast whisking aside. The drive landed us to this sweet cove with not another soul in sight. My cousin placed their behemoth Soft Top across the inviting strand and didn’t waste a single sparkle of the ocean’s gleam as he dove into expertly instructing me. All of my visions were crowding into my space ~ a life-held ambition was forming as I told my body it had what this takes! Before I paddled unto her arms, my cousin reminded me to bid thanks for the cradling she may offer, as I raised my head to her shining halo in prayer and bowed the same to stroke her sandy bottom.

Barring odd numbers, I caught waves two, four, and six until exhaustion had thrown my limbs into jellyfish state. As my mom pointed out post-haste, young at heart and young in the body are two differing things. Nevermind the bruises, they’re every inch badges of honor. My romantic desire to breach a life-lust illusion to bring it into reality was elatedly achieved. Not a single word of my story truly matches my ecstasy. Atop all of this is a further charm of fate. Basking in the car voyage leaving, I realized my darling deceased Grandma Kuhlman’s birthday was herein united. No ironies lost on me, the blessed beginner’s gentle rollers locale my cousin had chosen was colloquially named none other than ‘Grandma’s’ beach. Steeped with its own female lore, legend tells of a group of besties wahine’s who made a name for themselves claiming this surf spot. As they grew in years, becoming grandmothers, so did the name stick for they kept visiting her banks. I sensed deep in my water-logged, moreover wildly stoked, bones that she’d winked her way into helping the heavens craft one of my perfectly historic celebrations.

May your devotion to your dreams never ever fade.

LOVER of life. Especially people, places, philanthropy and photography.

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