I stepped out of my room to be greeted by faces bursting with excitement and laughter. I raise my hands up in the air and stare them down. Apparently this was happening at too-flippen-early o'clock.
Sometime in the night a plan was hatched for an early morning dip in the Pacific. I don't think any of us were awake enough to talk our way out of it or to clearly comprehend the fact that it was in fact already daylight outside.
Just like that we were throwing our clothes on a blanket and streaking towards the water.
Running with my tribe that morning was incredibly healing. It was the purest example of being present in the experience. I welled up with emotion as I ran towards that water because I recognized that in that very moment I was experiencing what living wild and free really meant. We were stripped down to our rawest and most vulnerable naked selves and able to laugh and run together. No judgements, no comparisons and no hesitations. A piece of that beach became a part of me in that moment, forever linked to my soul.
A small piece of that beach literally linked itself to me on the way out too. While still deep in my euphoric blissful experience I lost my footing and tripped, laying myself flat out on the sand and surf. Still totally buck naked and still completely in my blissful trance lying there with a mixture of tears and laughter erupting out of me. I will never forget the sight of my other very naked tribe sisters rushing over to help me up and exclaiming: "no man left behind!"
Moments like these are the ones that truly matter. They are the ones that stick with us forever. The moments that we will recall when we are old and wrinkled. Maybe, just maybe our tribe will still be creating these moments by then too. I'm counting on it.
Photos by Melissa Dowler of Long Haul Films.