This Little Girl Was My Hero for the Day

She looked to be 8 years old. Her long brown hair fell in wet strings around and in her face. She had no time to push it aside. She carried a skim board that looked to be more than half her size.

She looked ahead at the rolling waves, judging the time to throw her board on the water’s surface followed by a quick belly land on the board.

in the water

in the water

in the water

The Saturday surf class filled the ocean with boards and bodies, most of them tweens and teens. She sifted her way through the crowds going for the next wave. She was undaunted by age or experience. She was my hero that day.

I was drawn to her adventure. I was inspired by the lure of excitement in her eyes and cheered her on silently. I celebrated from the shore when I saw her face break out into a huge smile as the salt water splashed over her. She caught the wave she was after. Her size didn’t hold her back. Nothing kept her from experiencing the joy she set out to find.

skim board hero

girl with skim board

big smile

girl hero

Catching the surfing class or the boys who skim across the edge of the water are my favorites to watch. Their energy glides across the surface infusing me with a shared moment of fun. Their youth reminds me of my own, when life seemed to be waiting for me.

Our part of the ocean doesn’t produce big waves. Some days the surface is as smooth as glass. These days, they practice their balance and it reminds me of the off kilter days I have. These days are an opportunity to practice my balance but I forget it’s about practice. I forget the patience needed to realize the goal.

I imagine standing on a surfboard with my arms flying out trying to steady myself as the water moves under the board. Surely it would be more fun than balancing on one foot with dumbbells in hand in our garage. At least the scenery is prettier.

Sometimes I have my camera focused on the surfers waiting for the next wave. I don’t have their patience so I move on to the action. Another lesson they are trying to teach me that I’ve not learned.

girls holding board
girls holding board

The little girl has moved from the ocean to the sand and is hitting a volleyball back and forth with a woman. I forget how tireless 8 year olds can be. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget how much they can teach us.

Patience. Enthusiasm. Perseverance. Joy in life’s little pleasures. Excitement for life. She is not working for a prize. There is no one to announce her name and no podium for her to stand on. The only award she will receive is the one she wears on her face: joy.

Yes, she is my hero, pushing on through the crowds of older kids, making her way in her youth and inexperience. She is meeting the waves face on and she is laughing all the way.

Jesus called over a little child. He put His hand on the top of the child’s head.
Jesus: This is the truth: unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. In that kingdom, the most humble who are most like this child are the greatest.  And whoever welcomes a child, welcomes her in My name, welcomes Me. Matthew 18:2-5 the VOICE

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

7 thoughts on “This Little Girl Was My Hero for the Day

  1. Susan

    I grew up on South Florida beaches so you know I love this!!! xo

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      They are full of life, aren’t they Susan?

      Reply

    2. Debby Hudson

      They are full of life, aren’t they Susan?

      Reply

  2. Valerie Sisco

    Debby,
    What great photos you captured — the light just right and the surf — perfection! I so enjoyed looking at them! Isn’t it interesting to people-watch at the beach? I get so distracted imagining their stories from the snippets of conversation I hear and how they interact with their families. Joy and patience are beautiful things to ponder at the beach and incorporate into our lives. What a lovely day you described!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I get a little caught up in imaging their stories too, Valerie. I love people watching at the beach. Though, the heat is a bit much these days.

      Reply

  3. Linda Stoll

    So much life and vibrant action you’ve captured with your lens, friend. Summer indeed …

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      The kids are such fun to watch, Linda. They make me enjoy life even more.

      Reply

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