Surfing with disability at Caves Beach, NSW

Sun was out, the surf was just about perfect. There were enough volunteers but not that many. There was a steady roll-up of surfers. The surfers had a range of physical or mental challenges that prevented them from riding waves without the help of several volunteers. Getting these guys (I use this as a non-gender term relating to both men and women, boys and girls) into the water was typically beyond a carer and family member.

Volunteers were briefed by Gary Blashke, founder of DSA, and James Ritchie, one of the local board members and volunteers. The briefing was pretty casual but a good reminder of what an amazing thing this is.

Soon enough we were picking up these big foam surfboards, about 7 or 8 volunteers to a board. The surfer was either carried out on the board or waded out through the surf with the help of our volunteers.

Heading into the ocean, it was evident that many of the volunteers have never met each other before, however, the connection was instantly deep. The volunteers worked together and supported each other with grace and commitment. The looks in the eyes and smiles on the faces said it all.

Most of the volunteers hadn’t met the surfers before either. But the way they interacted was like mother and child. No judgment, only genuine love in the air and in the sea. There was unbridled joy in seeing the unbridled joy as one surfer after another rode rumbling waves to shore.

This is as rewarding an experience as I have tasted. This activity of joining with others to help our brothers and sisters takes me deep into my heart. This heart-opening gives me so much to take into all of my other roles for which I feel so grateful. It helps me become more humane and a better human.

I’m grateful for DSA as well as Collective Heart who opened the doors for this most wonderful experience.

If you want to connect with opportunities like this which have the potential to make your heart explode and feel deeply human and blessed please let me know.