The 45 minute drive to the lake is the beginning of my meditation.
The beautiful scenery gets me in the mood. Nothing but rolling green fields and blue skies. I lock up my cell phone in the glove compartment and am thankful for another chance to unplug from technology and plug into nature. I take my Glide SUP Lotus board off the rack and head for the water.
The sun is low and streaks of pink, orange and deep blood red paint the sky. The air is getting cooler, almost crisp for early August. The scent of honeysuckle is sweet and strong. The water is still, like glass, and as it gently laps up to my shins, it feels just like a warm bath.
Returning to the water feels like home.
I hop onto my board with ease and my body instinctively starts to navigate balance. It’s like riding a bike; everything I’ve picked up from each previous session on the water comes flooding back into my sensory body within seconds. There is no separation between me, the board, the water, the trees and brilliant sky. We are one. Bringing my attention to my breath instantly changes the quality of my experience.
I feel calmer, no fear. I am ready.
I start to to find gentle movement. Seated side stretches, twists, and folds that organically transform into cat, cow and lifting limbs in table. Before I know it, I’m in downward dog, and as I move through cobra, 50 hot air balloons ascend from behind the magnificent mountains on the horizon. The most beautiful view I could ask for on an already magical night.
I move through variations of the warriors and side plank, feeling powerful, balanced and strong on my board. Bridge pose is a revelation tonight. As the sun sets, the moon seems to get bigger and brighter, naturally lighting the entire lake. Lying on my back in an easy twist, I look over my shoulder and see that the water is dancing with the light of the moon. The crickets’ song gets louder as I settle into rest.
Nothing in this world compares to the peace and tranquility of savasana on my board, with my hands dipping into the moon-kissed water.
My connection to nature, to the universe and to an authentic sense of myself has never felt stronger than in this moment. I lie in quiet, occasionally opening my eyes to observe the starry night sky twinkling above. I stay for while, and when it is time to close my practice, I bow to the lake in gratitude.
I sit a few minutes longer to savor every bit of this special time, reserved just for me. And though I am resistant, I know that it is time to go.
I paddle back to shore with a flaming candle secured at the head of my board to light and guide the way. I take my time going back and find that it’s much easier to move slowly, with awareness, after this practice. The sound of the board moving through the water is soothing to my heightened senses.
Stepping on dry land feels like a privilege, to stand solidly on my two feet, rooting into the Earth. This kind of stability feels brand new.
I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for every single little thing.
Because if it weren’t for every moment that came before this one, I wouldn’t be right where I am, enveloped in my personal paradise.
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Apprentice Editor: Chrissy Tustison/Editor: Travis May
Photo: via Flickr