To all ocean mothers.
This morning I awoke to a stirring infant, eyes closed he wobbled his head from side to side searching for my breast. As I checked the time I was as excited to see 5:03am flash on the clock as I was to find there was not a breath of wind passing through the open windows.
As with most mornings, our spacious bed becomes crowded with the presence of our two precious children, feet and legs and arms going everywhere. But unlike a usual 5am feed where I finish off with a glass of water and find myself a crooked angle in the bed and drift back to sleep, today I left the little ones cuddled up with papa and snuck out into the semi-lit kitchen for a bowl of weet-bix and a breath of silence.
By 5:30am I had slipped into my long sleeved springsuit and was skipping down the lane towards our local beach with my Ryosuke Hori twin fin in hand, our two dogs by my side.
From the top of the hill I couldn't see much but a full tide, thinking the waves were going to be flat I was stoked to have brought my swim fins along for the morning solo adventure. But this morning I didn't need them. Trotting down the hill with the pups reality bore itself upon my drowsy eyes, sets lining up one after the other, complete with left handers (not so abundant around here) and only three other guys in the water.
Four weeks since my last surf and the slumber of the holidays leaving a heavy mark on my lactating body, I paddled out into the fiery beach break with floppy jelly arms and cursed myself at having left it so long between surfs. Never mind that though, for the full yellow sun had begun to rise in front of my eyes as I duck dived my final set and parked myself into the bare lineup.
I am sure a good fifteen minutes had passed by the time I caught my breath, just as a booming set lured into the bay. I spun my board around and paddled with what ever strength I had left and somehow managed to sneak onto the wave, shakily get to my feet and throw into the mix a bottom turn before the speed of the punch beachie had taken me over and plummeted me and my board into the balmy water.
I was stoked.
I surfed on for a good hour before my body called it quits, but I walked up the beach with a beaming smile and felt the most refreshed I have in weeks. As I was walking home I thought of all the other mothers in their houses feeding their babies, playing with their toddlers, or hassling their teenagers to wake up and make use of this beautiful day. I hoped that most of them are surfers and have had the opportunity to prioritise time back in the water in their busy mumma lives.
The punchy beach breaks this morning felt like the perfect metaphor for motherhood to me-a hard struggle to get out the back followed by a moment of bliss then getting worked by the fast pace waves of life...yet all this passes and what we are left with is memories of a tremendous surf session and the smiling (better yet sleeping) faces of our children when we walk back in the door.
As I crossed the road opposite our house my meditative moment was broken by the sound of my little baby breaking his heart in tears...ahh, poor little guy, I thought, hungry I bet. But I'm so going surfing again tomorrow morning!!!
*These pics were taken just after the birth of our first son, Ryder, when I had just started getting back on board. Very similar times. All happy.