WOW: The Power of Endings

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.”  Henry Miller

The ends of the dried palm leaves hanging from the palapa roof seem to dance in slower motion with the wind today. The air feels heavy, even thick.

With my office door propped open, I listen to the ocean waves crashing like I have at some point most of the days I’ve lived here at San Pedrito beach.

As I pull the words up from my belly and onto the page, I notice sadness spill out with them.

We aren’t taught to recognize endings. Our culture instead has us rush through closure, push aside tough feelings, and focus on the next thing.

But over the past 5 years, I have realized the great power in endings. Whether closing a meeting, leaving a place we’ve called home, or saying goodbye to a loved one, much is available through closure when we are able to be with it.

Today, as I unintentionally meditate on the way the sun casts on palm fronds flickering in the wind, memories of these past 7 months flood my imagination.

When we came here, my daughter stumbled in ATV tracks as she explored our beach for the first times. Now, she joyfully runs to the surf break; slides down the steep ledge made by the crashes waves; and laughs as my husband runs down the beach holding her outstretched to fly like an airplane.

I think of how she wraps herself around the neighbor’s dog and our house cat. She intimately knows the wildlife here.

And then my heart rests on a community of new friends that arose with ease through shared values.

This is the place I completed my coaching certification and started writing again. After years of searching for the next thing after seeing Heart of Leadership close in San Diego, I feel the joy and fulfillment of providing value and being of service in my career once again.

And here, I fell in love with surfing and with surfing, back in love with swimming. The many mornings I spent looking out to the horizon, watching the lineup of waves roll in one by one like a heart beat, has changed me. Surfing has reignited trust in the rhythms of life and courage while learning a new thing.

Just yesterday I spent the morning circling a favorite break, catching shoulder-high waves one after another after another until I my trusty shoulder told me that it was time to head in.

All of these memories rush back in a moment of reflection – of letting myself be in the grief of a very good thing.

Here’s the thing I’m finding about wonder. We need not force it. Sometimes it occurs as the big WOW of a sky turned rainbow spectrum reflected in the clouds at sunset. Sometimes it rests nestled into our sadness, grief and even loneliness.

Forcing the feeling can just push it away at times, but in being with what is, wonder just may find a way to reveal itself in an equally spectacular unfolding.

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