As 2014 draws to a close, it’s that time of year when we naturally reflect upon what has been and what is yet to come. When I stop to think about Soul Surfers in 2014, the word that most naturally comes to mind is “transition”. It has felt like a year where we have set some things down in order to step into some new opportunities. Upon reflection we have maintained our monthly rhythms of Soul Sundays and we continued to have our back gate open every Tuesday night for whoever wanted to come and share food and life in our home. But, we have also launched into some new ventures and with that comes the realisation that some things have run their course.
There have been many great initiatives within our own culture that some of us have been able to support in different ways. That’s not about taking ownership or looking for recognition. Rather, it is about cheering on the things that other people are simply getting on with and seeing where, how and whether we can support, serve or just encourage them. There have been: Surfers Against Sewage beach-cleans; the piloting of the Wave Project in Scotland; involvement for some of us in the Edinburgh Surf Club; and exploring ideas about CPR in a year which tragically brought the vastness of the sea and our own immortality into perspective. There have been chances to champion various kick-starter projects for the likes of Bethany Hamilton’s new film, the Hobgood brothers upcoming film and the hugely inspiring keep skateistan rolling campaigns.
There have also been a bunch of things that we have been able to launch ourselves or in partnership with others. In March we hosted our first ever Christian Surfers Scotland Gathering. We had over 30 people from across Scotland gather and share stories, ideas and a lot of fun. I hope that we spurred and inspired one another in the process. You can read more about that here. In June some of us made the trip down to Cornwall for the 20th CSUK National Gathering. It was a fantastic long weekend spent with what I can only describe as extended family. There’s a little write up here. In July we launched our inaugural SUrf Camp with Scripture Union. It was such a great week of bluebird skies, corduroy lines and a very natural means of unpacking what it might look like to live life to the full. We were so stoked by how it went and are so indebted to a long list of folks who made that happen. You can get a flavour of that here. In September, we were due to make our next payment for our repayment of Davina the camper-van. We had our socks well and truly blown off with provision beyond belief. You an read about that here. In October some of us headed back down to Cornwall for the Jesus Longboard Classic competition. What a great vibe and comp was had by all. There’s some pretty sweet footage and thoughts here. Also in October, some of the wider CSUK crew helped serve and judge at the UK Pro Tour as it wound its way up to Thurso. There’s a great little edit and write up here. It has, however, also been a year to stop some things. As the summer approached, on a personal level, V and I were feeling pretty burned out. We just knew that we needed a little space as a family unit and some time to re-gather our thoughts and to revisit the original vision of Soul Surfers. Things didn’t go quite to plan, but we slowed the rhythm of things down. We used the time to try and take soundings from various people involved with Soul Surfers to varying degrees. Oh and I also achieved a lifetime ambition of skating Southbank with the added surprise of meeting Ed Templeton and also skating at the newly opened House of Vans in London a week after my teenage heroes Christian Hosoi and Tony Alva had christened the concrete. By the end of summer, it seemed that there were new things for the two of us and our family to step into. There was also a recognition that we couldn’t persue those things without passing some other things on or setting them down. After several months of discussion we, as a collective set Soul Food down.
So, where are we heading? Well, actually this thing has really got our heads, our hearts, our imagination, our feet and our bank account. Just as the Word became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood, we are feeling more than nudged to do the same. So as the year fades out, the home we have made our own over the past 12 years has just gone onto the market as we make more than tentative strides towards a relocation to Dunbar. We hope that we can really get involved in a host of great initiatives that are being pioneered there. Hopefully by dwelling well we will preserve the things that are good and add flavour to the places we inhabit…
For now we see in part.