Monday, August 29, 2011

Glimpses of Growth Preface

     The ocean is like a friend. The kind of friend you can bring your problems to. The kind of friend who enjoys your creativity. The kind of friend who keeps you company. More than anything the ocean is the kind of friend who keeps you in line. 
    The friends I met in college, my best friends now, represented not just new friendship for me at a time when I needed it, they are associated with an awakening of the spirit I had at the time I met them eight years ago. I have experienced so much love in my relationships with my friends. This exchange of love has made me who I am. 
    At first I found it funny, like you maybe do, that I would be writing so much about my friends as I packed for my honeymoon to Thailand. 
    The truth is I probably wouldn’t be on this honeymoon without my friends. There’s no way I would have had the courage to go to Scott’s house by myself when we first met. I wouldn’t have had the same confidence that he was attracted to. I wouldn’t have been the same person. 
   I truly believe that everything and everyone is in our lives for a reason. Thailand had purpose in our lives. More than just a honeymoon getaway. That specific sand and water was destined to greet us. Those kind and eccentric people were meant to impart their Thai spirit onto us. The scenery was meant to open our eyes to growth and new understanding. I can feel it already.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Glimpses of Growth Chapter 1- First Glimpse


 I was aware of the fact that I was married now, even though the actual day that made it official still seemed like a dream. And we were on our honeymoon in Thailand. 
    I looked up for a moment and caught a glimpse of the lazy clouds that hovered casually over the road we drove along. As the sultry sun shone through them I could see the color variations; white on top dimming into a soft indigo color on the bottom. They seemed to look back at me and appeared graceful and untroubled as they gently moved with the wind, gathering the moisture they would soon return to dependent vegetation. 
    It was the utter contentment I felt about marrying Scott that made my observations in this moment so clear. I felt like I was looking through new eyes; wider eyes that could see more. 
    What I saw in my mind of Thailand before we left failed to represent the beauty I saw before me. I had been to many tropical countries before, yet nothing here seemed familiar. Variations of trees covered the land like a quilt, relenting at the shoreline and transforming into long stretches of sugary sand that led into mysterious waters. 
    I felt insignificant amidst its beauty and realized this as our small rental scooter puttered quickly but cautiously along the roads of this thriving land. As the scooter crept up the hill we played peek-a-boo with ocean scenery that stirred my soul.
    What I understood at that moment was that your eyes always look towards what you need to see. I needed to see the details of this unfamiliar place so that they could awaken within me a love for it. This glimpse made me realize that I needed to take the love emanating from the land while leaving love as I traveled around it. This would be the way we would grow on this trip.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Glimpses of Growth Chapter 2-Take it and Leave It





The clouds hung low on that humid morning, our third day in Thailand. The air, salty and thick, became an obstacle I needed to push through to get to my destination. My pace quickened as I traversed down 148 steps of our cliffside hotel to get to the beach. A monsoon had bestowed upon us waist to shoulder high waves to play in and I felt grateful to Thailand this morning for sharing her gifts with us. 

The ocean was so beautiful I wanted to be a part of it; I wanted to be the same color. Surfing gives you the chance to look the ocean in the eyes. You get to experience its moods. You understand its power. Any opportunity to embrace its energy and become a part of its mystery can’t be taken for granted. 

Scott and I had a great surf exchanging lefts and rights and soaking in the tropical water. I paid specific attention to the animated spirit radiating from the ocean and tried to embody it as I surfed. 

When I came in I observed a local man swimming in the walloping shore break. He also appeared enthusiastic about the ocean’s gifts that morning, yet he didn’t seem to have the ability to understand them. The consistent surf pounded him into the sand over and over until he lost all contact with it and became caught by a rip current that pulled him out to sea.

I pointed him out to Scott and we both ran towards the water. I searched for a lifeguard while Scott attempted to rescue this drowning man. The man was frantically waving his arms above his silvery hair. Scott arrived at his side and began to support him by allowing the distressed man to place his arms on his shoulders. The man looked as limp as a wet towel as Scott carried him in. They ducked under a few waves and finally made it safely to the beach. 

After catching his breath the man clasped his pruned hands together and bowed his head, thanking us for rescuing him. He didn’t speak English, but we had no problem communicating. 

This moment was quiet, quick and surreal. I saw the effect of our love in his eyes. Right then it occurred to me that we had accomplished what we had set out to do- to take and leave love on our journey in Thailand.