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Hey, Ernie- I’ve got a question.
“Shoot.”
Where did you learn to spearfish?
“Hawaii.”
When were you in Hawaii?
“Oh, I used to lifeguard there as well.”
Seriously? Why would you leave there for Long Island?
“Well, sometimes life happens despite our best intentions.”

Ernie was probably the most laid back guy I’ve ever met, and by all estimations of a 16 year old me, also one of the coolest. Not only a great surfer, he drove a classic 79 baby blue Cutlass Supreme and always smiled. ¬†The man had legendary stories about epic swells and exciting rescues. To top it all off, Ernie usually spent his hours off the lifeguard stand paddling around on his long board with a spear in one hand, searching for bluefish.

No matter the weather, blistering hot or windy cool, Ernie prevailed in constant pursuit. Most days he’d come back empty handed, with nothing but a silent grin as he stowed his spear back in the shack before starting the next sit. On those rare days he managed to catch a blue, Ernie would build a small fire at the back of the beach and spitroast his fresh catch and share it with the rest of the team.

As delicious as it was, I cannot recall ever seeing him eat any himself.

Keeping a low profile, Ernie only worked two days a week and rarely popped up out outside of work. Easily 20 years my senior, it’s entirely possible I lived on the polar opposite of the social spectrum. We only shared the stand a small handful of times, and even then, only shared one real conversation.

So, why do you do like it so much?
“Spearfishing? I dunno, it makes me happy to be out on the water like that.”
Does it bother you that you rarely catch anything?
“Not at all. In fact, I enjoy it much more.”
Why? Isn’t that the point?
“Heck, no! It means I don’t have to cook the damn thing. That’s a lot of work.”
Geez… seems like I’ve been missing the point this whole time.
“Well, if that’s really the case, thanks for letting me help you find it.”

Thank you, Ernie, for teaching us the where true value of Joy can be found…not in the treasure, but the hunt.

By Daniel Scott – Yogi Provocateur

Join the hunt and find the value of Joy at Udaya Live, Yoga and Music festival this month in Borovets, Bulgaria!

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