As I paddled my "yellow banana" towards shore where my parked car awaited me at the nearby Marine Stadium parking, I noticed a man's head bobbing up and down, seemingly hunched over my Honda's driver's side. My first impulse was he appeared as if he were breaking into my car. I could not be sure, but it surely looked suspicious. But, boy, was I so very wrong.
After four months in the Bahamas and a 30-hour return voyage from Nassau to Miami the day before, I probably looked disheveled and bedraggled with my bearded and bathing-suited appearance. Baked, shaken, and unshaven, I looked no better than a seaside vagrant with my kayak fully laden with bags and boat gear. If anyone had observed or greeted my seaside arrival, I could easily been mistaken for a homeless vagabond emerging from his oceanic ordeal. Good thing I wasn't judging myself....or maybe I am now.
As I moved closer to my car, I noticed the man stooped over. Almost as soon as I approached my vehicle and looked around the front side, the young man scooted off on his motorcycle without even acknowledging my approach. This incident was but the first of my two morning wake-up calls.
After unlocking my car and putting my first load of items in my car, I turned around towards the beach and noticed another young bald man looking at my kayak and then grabbing its bowline and seemed to be pulling it further ashore when I approached.
I walked over and asked him if I could help. A brief explanation revealed he was simply pulling my kayak up further onto the beach so neither tide nor wave would take it. Of course, my mind had jumped to judgement once again - thinking he had found a derelict kayak on the beach. I immediately realized my misinterpretation, introduced myself and then exchanged pleasantries with Dan from Turkey. Discovered he had crossed the Atlantic, was taking his girlfriend to Miami's Wynwood walled art and then onto Miami Beach to show her a contrast of lifestyles. They were waiting for a LYFT ride so I told them I was driving northward and would gladly take them close to their destination. I was still curious why and how my mind had wandered to this kind of thinking.
Maybe I have been away too long? Maybe my initial thoughts are still overly cautious and skeptical. Maybe I have to watch my steps more closely. Maybe I have much more work to do. What I soon figured out was these two incidents were my shore/sure reminders. A couple weeks after Easter I laid some shocking eggs. Now I see how they were gifts!
The universe shows; it doesn't tell. The clues and signs were all there for me, but so too was my immediate judgement. Hiding in my forehead, they jarred me awake. As I stepped foot on American soil, I needed both to jar my judging to help me stay more mindful. The challenge for me seems to continue seeking the light for what is real? These opportunities let me see some of my dark side, but the light seems to be brightening my perspective with some steps backwards before I can move forward. My thinking has a much greater distance to sail.
Maybe I could jar my judgements, put a lid on them, turn and tighten those tops and place the judgement jars on a dusty shelf in some dark, cold basement cellar closet where they can't spill into my thoughts. While they may sometimes jar me awake, I would prefer they remove themselves from my thoughts. They don't really belong in a more conscious world.
This is a better idea above - a jar of questions for my quest.