The current fires in San Diego has me thinking a lot about materialism and what it would feel like to lose all possessions.
Like many people, I have several material possessions that are important to me. My notebooks of writings, hard drives, and musical instruments are a few of the material things I seem to value most when I think about it.
We are often asked what our most prized possession is…but what about some of our most prized experiences?
Experiences live within you. They go wherever you go. They don’t have matter, yet they matter most. It is a great paradox that provides a sense of self, belonging, and a certain eternal context for your life.
My material possessions are important to me, but the past few years I’ve been more focused on experiences.
Here’s an experience that comes to mind.
During my time in Sri Lanka there were many incredible surf sessions. Endless waves, warm water, good friends, and beautiful scenery…but this particular surf session was different.
It was just me and two good friends I had made during my time in Sri Lanka. We made our way in the tuk tuk (three wheeled vehicle) to one of the longest right waves I’ve ever seen.
All to ourselves, we paddled out in the 80 degree water and paddled as hard as we could to grab our first wave. The wave starts out with a relatively easy take off, then quickly pitches over as it passes a nice sandbar. This is the section to get a cover up or a nice barrel.
We get our waves.
Each of us runs to the sand and up the beach back to the point to grab another one. This repeats. And repeats. My legs get tired while riding the waves because they go on for so long.
The sky turns orange. The sunset comes upon us and we can see the color reflecting off the waves as we ride them. Glowing orange waves and pink sky puts our minds in a state of euphoria.
Legs and arms tired, it’s that after surf session people talk about.
Our tuk tuk driver is waiting on the beach. Time to go.
We strap the boards on. Take a few breathes to imagine ourselves riding more waves. And we’re off.
We continue in the tuk tuk and our driver is excited.
‘Look to the right! You see!’
Wild elephant wanders behind scattered palm trees.
The sky continues to morph into a rich array of timeless colors. The elephant walks calmly, just a few hundred feet away.
Where am I?
How am I on a beach with elephants?
Completely consumed by this experience.
We make our way back to the village through the winding cobble stone streets as children put their arms out for high fives.
Time for a cold glass bottled Coke, delicious Sri Lankan food, and a good night of sleep.
What is one of your most prized experiences?