Lessons from a weekend in Tofino

My son Josh and his girlfriend Julie are visiting for their 'reading week'. For Christmas we gave them surfing lessons in Tofino - and so this was the weekend! It was a great trip on lots of levels - great company, yummy food and lots of fun. As we were driving back, was reflecting on what we had seen and what I had learned as a result.

1. Growth can happen anywhere. We stopped in Cathedral Grove, just outside of Parksville to walk in the trees. Though I have been here a few times, I never get over the growth. This time I noticed a tree, (even seems to be a different type of tree) growing right out of a broken stump. The amount of growth on just about any surface including the fences, is amazing. These images remind me that growth happens, all the time, around us and within us - and sometimes, in spite of us!

2. We are pretty small compared to the beautiful, natural world around us. I think as humans, we can get to thinking we are pretty important...that we have 'control' over our world, and can innovate and create. When I stand on the shores and look at the ocean breaking over the rocks, or at the bottom of trees that go up as far as I can see and are hundreds of years old, I am reminded of the verse, "What is man, that You are mindful of him..." Psalm 8:4. All the creativity and innovation labs, though important and exciting, will never give us the amazing greatness that we are surrounded by on this island, in this country, on our planet. I like to be reminded of how small I am relative to the rest of the world - it keeps me humble and grateful.

3. When you are passionate about something, you don't notice the rain! Josh and Julie were excited to surf and we went to watch them. It was pouring rain - not light rain - pouring and about 10C. The owner of the surf school and the instructor weren't phased at all. In fact, when we went down to the beach to pick them up - there were about 50 - 70 people surfing! We stayed in a place along the road where surfers parked and they were coming and going all weekend. Some would show up and run to the water - their enthusiasm barely contained! Josh and Julie did well, learned lots, and didn't really notice the rain at all. As the owner of the surf school stated - "the ocean holds no judgement" - in other words all are welcome to have this experience. I thought that was an awesome way to look at it and was tempted (for about 30 seconds) to join Josh and Julie. What is really interesting is that the bulk of time in surfing is spent getting to a place where you can catch a wave, stand up, actually surf. And all that 'pre-work' is unnoticed in the thrill of riding a wave! Whether it's surfing in the rain, hobbies we enjoy or the work we do each day - it's great to be so passionate that you don't notice things that others may see as obstacles...