Make time to discover and savour joy. Every day. Especially now.

We wallow in testing times. It is not easy to be locked down at home feasting on fear and gloom. As the world and all of us find ourselves disrupted, make time for joy.

This morning, on the Waitemata Harbour, I rediscover the power of joy.

I feel so much better. Lighter. Hopeful. Focused. Energised. Calm

Acknowledging Coast Guard advice, I decide to head out on my surfski. It is cold and wet with a brisk nor-wester. Ski on shoulder, I wander across Tamaki Drive without bothering to stop. No traffic. One person on the beach.

Paddling into the wind across to North Head is grim. Cold water sloshes over with each wind swell. It is slow, tough work agains the tide. Am I slowing up with the first signs of corona virus? No boats. No one on the harbour.

Pressing further north across Cheltenham towards Takapuna the sun comes out and I warm up. The wind comes up as I turn at the south end of Takapuna. Brisk tailwind and an incoming tide. My boat speed increases from 8-9 km/h to 14-16km/h. It felt a lot better. Not so much virus fear. Empty sky. Just one cargo plane through the 90 minutes out there.

Downwind paddling requires feeling and surfing the small swells pushed along by the wind. Today was an optimal mix of tide and wind. Just enough wind to raise white-caps. I started to feel the lift in the back of the boat. Digging the paddles in hard and increasing tempo, one could ride long, easy swells. Short burst of pain. Long, cruisey surf at 16km/h.

Birds diving. Surf past a little blue penguin.

I feel a smile slide across my face and jaw. Crow’s feet crinkles signal a true Duchenne smile. Mood lifts. I am having fun. The surfing is playful. My body is alive. There is absolutely no-one out on the harbour. The sky is empty. Tamaki Drive has one fire engine and one bus.

Heading across the abandoned ferry lines, the wind is energised. The surfing is delightful. Easy to catch the wave. Feel the lift. Quick strokes. Paddle into the dip. I am laughing and whooping for joy.

Bizarrely conscious of total isolation, I am giggling with pleasure. I feel so damn well and so happy. All is right with the world.

Where will you seek and savour joy today?

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