I first met Ashley a few years ago. I contacted her on a friends recommendation for some surf coaching. I had reached out, telling her I wanted to progress in surfing faster than I'm aging.( Partly joking, but not really.... ) We met and I took my first lesson from her. Ashley quickly became someone I knew deep down would be a very close friend. A soul sister so to speak. I have been an emotional and spiritual support for her and she has been the person to help me heal some of the stories I was believing about my surfing.
Fast forward - Ashley had loaned me one of her boards. "Banana" as she lovingly calls it. I fell in love with the board. And so began the journey of the board. She was to shape a board for me. This has turned out to not be just any board. This board is very very special. Over the time span of about a year, she learned something intimate about me. She learned of my love and devotion to the Madonna. I'm in no way a devout Catholic. If anything I am a recovering Catholic, and the Great Mother has helped with that healing.
The image on the board is Our Lady of Guadalupe whom is lovingly called Guadalupana. She is the mother of The America's and she is one of the three virgins that show up for me in my life. The other two being from my Sicilian culture, The Black Madonna and The Mother of Light (La Madonna Del Lume). The protectresses of fishermen. I come from a long line of fishermen and I believe this is where my deep connection to the sea comes from.
One day, she and I were walking down the street and I glanced over at the painting of Guadalupana that is displayed on Frostie's house. I had been admiring it for years. At this point Ashley knew my connection to her. Guadalupana, this beautiful healing spirit, my guide and protectress. I exclaimed excitedly (Partly joking, but not really.... ) "Wouldn't it be amazing to have her on my board?!”