A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that tested my limits. Pushed my limits. Both physical and mental. For some reason I buried this experience somewhere within. It stayed there until this morning when I was walking towards my car. Heavy rains all night. They continued to pummel me from above. Huge puddles everywhere. No umbrella. Deciding whether I should make a run towards my car or not. Both ensured me being soaked through. So, I chose the third option. Triple espresso fuelled option that ended up being me jumping into puddles and singing the most cliched of rain song: “Singing in the Rain.” By the time I got to my vehicle I was one with the water. Truly. Grinning though. Sat inside. Was about to start the engine when the experience I mentioned hit me like a waterfall. Suddenly I felt every water drop on me. Pulling me down. Suddenly I felt like I am morphing into water. I smelled the salt from the ocean. Ocean that is hundred+ miles away from. The memory returned. Of me paddle boarding away from the coast. Beautiful morning. A few clouds in the distance. The sea was calm. I wanted to get away from the coast. Far enough to not see it. After a while my goal was accomplished. Serenity surrounding me. All I could hear is the light breeze and micro waves hitting my paddle board. Perfect for a few minutes of nothingness. I lied down, closed my eyes, and surrendered myself to the sea below and the sky above. Gentle rocking. Scent of the sea on my nostrils. Feeling like one with the sea and the sky. In the now. I must have fallen asleep at some point. Dreamless sleep as I lay on top of the sea. Surrendering to her completely. Suddenly awoken by a splash of water. I looked up. The sky changed. Clouds everywhere. The sea and the wind in the act of a passionate affair. Waves already a foot tall. Time to go back, D. But where? A temporal panic set in. Which way is the coast? I got up and looked all around. For any sign of the land. Suddenly seeing what resembled as a faint shape of the coast. My eye sight is not the most trustworthy of partners lately. I strain my eyes. Focus. In that moment a huge wave comes crashing into me. Knocks me off of the board. I go under. Involuntary drink a few drops of the ocean. She taste perfect. But wait! D, you need to get back! I snap out of it. Get back on the board. Waves getting bigger and bigger. Fuck it. That thing I saw is the fucking land! Going for it. I start paddling. Battling the sea, battling to stand on top, pushing with everything I had, paddling like a possessed animal. Suddenly tasting my own blood. I must have bit my tongue or lip when I was knocked off. It tastes sweet. D! Enough with tasting the now. Focus! I am slowly inching my way. Fighting the wind, the waves, and yes – the most powerful of beings – the sea. Continuously looking at the horizon to see if the land is there. I look around to see if there are any boats around. Looking. Is that a sail? Straining again. Another rogue way comes in. Fuck! I missed it. I failed to prepare for it. I am knocked off the board again. Falling in. As I submerge I look up. I see the raging. The paddle board getting away. At the same time – it is so serene under water… gorgeous to see the light as it is breaking through the raging sea. Beautiful visual poetry. Lungs burning. D! Get the fuck back up. I snap out of it. Swim after the paddle board. Get up. Stand up. No more distractions. My body takes over. Survival. Calming the mind. Today is not the day. I am inching my way towards what now I can see is the coast. The wind is not letting go. Neither is she. The sea stands all around me with open arms. Pulling me in every direction. Rocking me with waves that are growing. My muscles are burning. I feel them as they are pumping. Determined. Not letting go. My mind though – it starts to interfere. Screams: “We are so fucking far away still!” The body seems to not care though. Ready to separate itself from the mind. And then the spirit makes an appearance! “Woooooohooooooooo! Let’s fucking do this!” It resurrects the mind. Suddenly all three are connected. And I start to sing. To be honest I can’t remember what song. Perhaps there were many. All I remember is me standing on the board, paddling like possessed and screaming! Not today. I ignore every ache. Beating the tiredness. I am nevertheless slowing down. No denying it. Still such a long way to go… and then… the sea… she gave me a gift. Changed the current. Suddenly I was surfing on top of the waves. With the waves. Not against them. Feeling one once again. Different kind of one. Despite all the frenzy. Serenity within the fight for survival. Slowly making my way back. Alive and kicking. The coast in front of me. Getting closer and closer. And then when I was but a few hundred yards away… the winds died down and the sea started to calm down too. The sun returned in all of her glory. Last few minutes I paddled on the sea that was as calm as it was when I was setting out. Micro waves. Suddenly sensing my arms. Tired. Sore. Ready to be done. To rest. Deservingly so. When I got back I looked at my watch. Stunned. It took me more than 4 hours to get back. Same distance took me around 30 minutes in the morning… Sure I was tired but at the same time – so fucking alive! Just like I am right now. Soaked. Still humming the tune. Alive.