Our Vibrant Viking Wedding Weekend happened over the summer solstice. The breathtaking setting of nature, sea, forest, fields, beach, and sunshine all around was felt by all. I felt like a true Viking Woman coming home to her roots, her man and her community.
We would organize a Honeymoon road trip to incorporate the celebrations of our honeymoon, Thor’s birthday and my birthday…decided to drive to Lagos in Portugal from Denmark and create an exciting road trip through Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal.
My dad’s mother is half-Danish and it’s fascinating to see history repeating itself as I come back to my roots in Copenhagen. My sister also happens to live in Denmark and married a Dane, so it feels like a cycle coming full circle. We said our vows among those close and meaningful. We prayed, we kissed, we cried, we chanted, we swam naked, we played grill tennis, we danced, we celebrated, we released lit lanterns into the night’s sky, we sang around the fire, we ate healthy food, we laughed, kids played. It was truly a special and heartfelt weekend.
Prior to the wedding, work-life took some changes and I went on stress leave for the last two months of my teaching contract. This was a whole process in itself, as I had to honestly listen to my body when it was crying out to me that working full time and working for myself full time was taking its toll.
Taking the step to not feel any shame around speaking about my anxiety that was at play and being courageous enough to know that being self-employed is what makes me happy and allows me to feel free, expansive and creative. It’s not always the easy route to work for oneself, as one does not have the security of a monthly paycheck and pension at hand. Being your own boss means that you have to drive yourself each day to show up and be at the forefront of what it is you are creating and putting out there. But it’s worth it!
I had bought Thor a surfing trip for his birthday in early March and we decided that we would organize a Honeymoon road trip to incorporate the celebrations of our honeymoon, Thor’s birthday and my birthday. We decided to drive to Lagos in Portugal from Denmark and create an exciting road trip through Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal.
The ocean is a very self-reflective place in which to be. Each wave is different; it keeps you alert and present.
So off we set with our car packed, mattress in the back as we used our car as our mobile hotel to sleep in along the way, which allowed for so much ease and freedom. We took our time and savoured the precious moments along the way that make the journey to the destination all worth the while. Sleeping in the black forests, waking up and jumping into the rivers, deep conversations about life that lasted for hours, moments of irritation in France when the satnav sent us off the beaten track and we needed to try to not project it onto the other, singing and playing music, exploring old forts and castles, different flavours of food, endless laughing, lovemaking and being together with my beloved man.
It took us 3000km to drive to our destination in Lagos, Portugal. It was so worth the drive and the week that unfolded was and will always be another profound experience in my book called Life. Growing up in Cape Town, I was always in the waves and swimming, though never riding them. It was the first time for both of us learning to surf and what a fantastic thing to do together! I loved every moment. We started early in the mornings by getting our wet suits and driving an hour down to the beaches with the right surf. It also happened to be full moon and the tides and waves were bigger than normal.
During the first three days, we were taught to stand up in the smaller white-water waves. It’s a lot harder than one thinks; all your body parts and muscles are engaged when surfing. I managed to stand up on the first day, which helped boost my confidence for the coming days. The sense of satisfaction and bliss when one catches a wave is electrifying and addictive. Parallel to this ecstatic feeling of bliss also rides the undercurrents of fear. I have never had a deep fear of the ocean itself, yet I could feel my anxiety was somewhere in the crashing waves. I could feel the moments when I was dumped by the shear strength of the waves and not being able to breathe for a few moments and then coming up for air for a split second and then the waves would hit again. The experience itself was a great teacher; just like life, you never know what is really coming around the next corner and the ocean reflects this truth endlessly. You have an idea what may happen when the wave hits, but then something else happens. It was a practice in connecting to my breath and allowing each surge to pass and to keep one’s equanimity.
Fear and anxiety are like the waves of the ocean; one has to learn to ride them again and again until you find the balance, the bliss and the beauty that is all around and within us all the time. We just forget.
The ocean is a very self-reflective place in which to be. Each wave is different; it keeps you alert and present. On the final day, the instructor took us out beyond the break to the backline. This was beyond anything I could have expected. This was the real deal; this is what I had been looking forward to. I felt like I was in the movie, Point Break, where you work so hard and push through every breaking wave to get to the back where there is calmness, strength and the unknown. I got to sit on my board and be with the ocean in a way I have never experienced before. To see the waves from another perspective, to be at peace with the ocean in her full entirety, brought healing to my body, mind and soul.
Nature is the best way to find the way back to our true selves. I managed to catch a few waves from the backline, which fed my passion to take more risks. That being said, on the way back into shore that confidence was short-lived and the waves bashed and dumped me onto the sandy surface with panic and anxiety. I couldn’t believe that I was still attached to my board as the force of each wave felt like I was being catapulted into a gigantic washing machine on spin dry.
The tears splashed down my cheeks as I was humbled by what this vast ocean can hold and represents. I took the wetsuit off and calmed myself down and was able to see the pearls of wisdom learnt through each wave that beat me to the shore. Fear and anxiety are like the waves of the ocean; one has to learn to ride them again and again until you find the balance, the bliss and the beauty that is all around and within us all the time. We just forget.
We made our way back to Copenhagen with another 3000km drive between us. I felt so nourished by the ocean. I am also the Cancer sign in the Zodiac, represented by the Crab, so water is my element and to experience surfing on my birthday, starting my moon cycle, under the full moon and all on my honeymoon. It was a very precious moment in time.
I feel so positive about these past 365 days around the sun in my 30’s. I feel a new vigor and possibility ahead. I feel blessed to have been given another chance in life with a wonderful man who I love and respect. I feel passionate about the work I do and making a difference in people’s lives by sharing teachings from the forest to opening the doors they did not know they did not know. I feel ready to begin the process of publishing my children’s book that is just around the corner and feel refreshed to start another school year soon and share the times ahead with the boys in a calm manner. It’s an ongoing task of being a mother who is learning all the time. I love it.
I am left with the call that surfing is medicine for my soul and am so looking forward to what will lie ahead with soul surfing now on my horizon.