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In this blog post I have written a first person story of my experience with the sea, in a little harbor in New Zealand. I invite you to, as you’re reading, summon the sensations you feel when you are in a place most sacred to you, and we can share these feeling together.

It is morning. I breathe in deep, gazing out across the water. It beckons, still as glass. The suns rays slowly diffuse the mist that hides the other side of the harbor.

I am the only living creature in sight, not even the sea birds have visited this shore yet. There is a peaceful ocean silence; all is quiet but for the ever present lapping of waves upon the sand.

I gently step in to the water, placing my feet with care on the slippery stones underfoot. Gently, I lower my paddle board. The sound it makes as it touches the water, and the soft lapping as it sits there are music to my ears. I step on. My heart both skips a beat and settles into a rhythm, simultaneously overjoyed and calmed by the sensation of being on the water once again.
I paddle slowly out of the bay. As I come into the middle of the river the sun discovers the paddle board and I, silkily bathing us in its joyous morning glow. I stop paddling, stand still, feel my eyes unfocus. Breathing deeply, I feel the joy bubbling inside of me, the same joy I get every time I am on or in the water. It is a gentle happiness, it is peaceful. It is a sweet song coming from inside me, stirring my emotions when I realize I let it be quiet for so long in the city. To picture it in my mind, it is a gently fizzing golden glow, starting just beneath my sternum and fizzing outwards until my whole being feels light and free.

My spirit is escaping my dreary city body with every deep breath, roaming across the water, dancing on the wave tops, sliding down the troughs. I couldn’t contain my spirit if I tried, not out on the water. It goes and if I’m lucky my body does not hold it back. Breathing deeply, the salt air fills my lungs and cleanses my body of the stress and anxiety it carries day to day. My spirit gallivants in the invisible space between sea and sky. It soars as far as my eye can see and beyond, the beauty of the ocean too great for it to stand still. It must dance in the salty wind! I am rocked by the waves, or do I rock them? I am connected intimately with board, paddle, sea and sky, I know not where I end and nature begins. We are one.

Here on the sea, my spirit is free.

This story is from my most recent experience on my paddleboard. I find that when I stay in the city for too long I become stressed and anxious. At these times, only the sea can release my wild spirit from my tired body. And the beauty of doing so is that each time I reconnect with nature it is a little easier to fend off the stresses of city life.

Do you feel the same? Have you ever been paddleboarding? Leave a comment below and let me know how you fend off the stresses of modern day life.

Toni Elizabeth

Toni Elizabeth

Toni-Elizabeth hails from a tiny town in New Zealand. She is currently working on a Master's thesis and every spare moment she spends outdoors, in the sun, the sand and mostly the sea. An adventurer with a sense of humor she knows not to take life too seriously.