Sunday, January 16, 2005

Rings of Rememberance

Went out for a surf today (which I don't do often-as evidenced by the dodgy $20 wetty I bought today!) down at Pt Leo, a nice little spot near me.

I was stoked when the dude on the gate told me they'd be doing the Rings of Rememberance at three. This was something I'd only heard of the day before, but sounded really cool.

Basically its a traditional hawaiian thing, where all the surfers go out in the water and form a ring to remember people who've died.

After much floundering about in the surf, nearly cutting my feet off on the rocks, I saw a large circle forming out behind me. I paddled out to join them.

Basically, we all sat (yes sat, on our boards) in a circle, then a local asked if we could all join hands in the circle and observe a minutes silence. A couple of people had flowers so they paddled into the middle to lay them in the middle of the circle. It was a beautiful moment of silence and solitude. No formal prayers were spoken, we all just sat and paid respects

It wasn't what I would call a massive spiritual 'moment' for me, but on some level (whether everybody would name it as such or not) it was a deeply meaningful spiritual time for all involved. There was a great article in the paper yesterday about the need for a day of mourning, and the power of rituals such as these. I think our society has lost the value of ritual, and people cry out for times of community such as these.

And a time of community it was, very peaceful and accepting, and very respectful. The article mentioned the rising interest in ANZAC day, and declared national days of mourning such as today.

Perhaps yet another example of people seeking spiritual meaning and understanding outside of the church?

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