I definitely do not have all the answers. This I know for sure. However, sometimes, when I am in my holy place, my sanctuary, the ocean, I feel comforted in the fact that maybe not having all the answers is ok. There is something about being in salty ocean water that makes me feel at home. She wraps me up in her arms and I feel safe. I am allowed to let go of all my fears, sadness, and burdens when I am with her. I learn to respect her and my fellow water men and women. I learn that it is ok to cry because after all we are all made up of salt water. 

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When I first learned to surf, I would stay in the ocean for hours and hours. People actually started making comments and asking me, "Why do you stay in the water for so long?!" The answer is very clear to me. When I am in the ocean, nothing can touch me. I feel like nothing else matters. Nothing is important but that moment. The ocean and me. We are one. Every time I would leave the water, my heart hurt knowing I had to go back and face reality. Back to thoughts. I feel like I am always thinking and processing. When I am in the ocean, I do not think at all. It's quite amazing. 

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The ocean means everything to me. It has been such a brilliant teacher. I am constantly learning from her. I can only hope that there will be many more lessons to learn, waves to catch, intentions to set, friends to meet, and things to let go of with her. Thank you Mother ocean. Thank you for your lessons. Thank you for your spirit. I am in awe of you. I love you. 

-Nena Ocampo

Photos: Joel Sharpe

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