I grew up near the sea and spent almost 5 months of every year swimming, waterskiing, windsurfing or snorkeling in its waters; but when it came to big waves, I was always facing them with a bit of terror that I tried so hard to hide. I am therefore always amazed at the courage of people who willingly challenge the imposing waves and use them as a playground. Surfers have a way about them that screams out defiance or perhaps it is fear itself they are trying to conquer.
photo taken: surfer boy on Boracay~ Philippines
Dusk on the island shore
A very strange phenomenon I have encountered repeatedly is with the fear islanders have of the sea or it might be a great awe of the mysterious waters. I keep finding out that locals that live near the sea or ocean never really go into it with the exception of fishermen and sailors. Even in Lebanon, my grandmother who lived all her life 15 minutes away from the shore of the mediterranean, had never set foot in its waters before she passed away. It is also said that the fishermen of the Isle of Aran near the Irish coast, never learn how to swim as they claim it would be much better to die faster by drowning in case they ever fall from their boats.
photo taken: local fishermen on the shores of Boracay~ Philippines
That is the way of a child, always in training, day in, day out, learning, practicing, repeating, trying again, discovering new ways and building the person they are meant to be. Training lives in the doing, in the actions we take repetitively until we reach our goal. There is such a great satisfaction gleaned from a good training, a sense of accomplishment, a sigh of relief that our faculties were put to good use, that we are closer to being who we were meant to be. An idle life has always caused a great fear in me and in the doing I find my greatest satisfaction.
Another lesson learned from children, the ones who are still closer to the true human way.
summer and why
We, foreigners living in Shanghai are often found to be very annoying to the local people of authority. We are sometimes referred to as the ‘why people’. With the summer here now in full power, the pool is open in our compound, and with that come the strange rules. One rule is that you must wear, outdoors, a swimming cap at all times if you were to enter the pool (a rule that is adhered to for almost one week tops). Naturally, every year we ask ‘why’? The answer is “there is no why, it is a rule, why do you ask why? What is wrong with you?”
Can you imagine living your daily life and never ever asking why certain things are they way they are when they don’t make any sense to you? I am a ‘why’ person and proud to be one!
photo: Lea with her friend on top of her new inflatable dolphin wearing the cap, don’t ask me why 🙂
the little swimmer
Living in China means taking on some things that are integral in the make up of the Chinese society: training, discipline and repetition.
Swimming lessons have been a weekly routine in our 6 year old daughter’s life since she was 3. This was taken today during her swimming class.