Recently I stayed with my friend , Diane,since I was officiating a wedding at nearby Wrightsville Beach the following day. She asked if Eric and I would like to go to a “Paddle Out” the next morning before the wedding. She said it was a very spiritual event. I was confused , so she explained when a surfer dies, they honor them with a “paddle out” . All the surfers at Carolina Beach that knew Luke, the surfer who had passed to the spiritual realm recently, brought their surfboards to the beach . There was a short service as follows:
“Poseidon,Lord of the great clear blue sea, crashing waves and all the fair waters of the world; your might is well known, well governed and well wielded. Oh, God who commands the white capped waves, we praise and honor you.
Poseidon, friend of the sailor, the fisherman,the surfer and all who find joy, livelihood on sea coast and shoreline; we pray for your good will and are grateful for your blessings.
Send your mermaids and dolphins to carry the soul of your servant, Luke, to eternal life in your domain. Bring peace and tranquility to Melissa and Fisher. Let family and friends who have passed before be united in joy with Luke. Forgive any wrongs that have been committed and welcome the beloved spirit of Luke into the warm entrance of your domain.
Ben McHorney 10/16/2016 with the blowing of the conch and blessing with wine. ”
Then all the surfers took a fresh flower with them and paddled out into the ocean where a boat with Luke’s ashes and his close family were aboard. The ashes were poured into the sea and all the paddlers slapped the water in honor of this.
From all the movies I have seen, I thought surfers were loners and not really part of a tight community. But after witnessing this and realizing their entwining souls with nature, I realize what a connected and spiritual group the surfers really are.
When thinking of any group closely connected to nature such as American Indians, Australian Aborigine, or Alaskan Inuit , there is a spiritual quality of their beliefs connected to the Earth and a Creator. The same seems true for the surfers that feel a spiritual connection to the sea.
I find that while hiking in the woods or playing in the lakes or ocean , I feel a deep spiritual connection to the nature around me and the Creator. This seems to be the easiest place to “ground” myself. There is a peacefulness to the waves and trees that pervades my soul whenever I am there. It helps me see the “whole universe” instead of the small things that do not matter in this lifetime. Loving relationships with those around us including animals, plants and the Earth are the true path to spiritual fulfillment.