A deep connection to nature and the desire to give a loving tribute to his father led local resident Sebastian Slovin to write and publish a picture book, “The Adventures of Enu: The Tale of the Giant Whale.” Created in collaboration with Blaze Syka, who designed the vibrant pen-and-ink illustrations, the work is a modern-day fable.
Combining poetic language with a simple story line, the book tells of a young boy’s adventure as he meets Enu, a shape changer, who appears in several forms from a hummingbird to a whale, and how he teaches the boy that everything in nature is connected. The book has an appeal to readers of all ages and teaches others to “live in the moment,” said Slovin, whose yoga business spreads that same message.
This is Slovin’s first endeavor in publishing. The idea for the book’s message percolated in his imagination for many years. It is based on a story that was told to him by his father who passed away, under tragic circumstances, when Slovin was 6 years old. His father was also the inspiration for the main character in the book. “A lot of my really good memories of my dad are being out on the ocean or in nature with him,” Slovin explained.
A South African native, who lived in La Jolla, his father was an athletic swimmer and after he died the family spread his ashes in the ocean at La Jolla Cove.
“From that time on I looked at nature as part of my family,” said Slovin, who grew up part-time in Australia and South Africa, but mostly in La Jolla. Slovin and his younger sister were raised solely by his mother. “She was a single parent following a really bad situation but she raised us very well. She is my hero,” he said.
As a teen Slovin discovered yoga to aid his flexibility for improved competitive surfing. He also discovered the philosophical and mental aspects of yoga which today he weaves into the activities he offers through his business, Nature Unplugged. These are guided adventures that allow his clients to experience the richness of the natural world.
“I’m interested in encouraging people to find a spiritual connection in whatever they are doing, whether it’s walking or surfing, biking or yoga. You don’t have to go somewhere far away to have a big adventure,” said Slovin.
Slovin has traveled extensively and surfed competitively around the world, but three years ago he sustained a debilitating hip injury that prevented him from doing any rigorous sports.
“I found myself hanging out in San Dieguito Park in Solana Beach and that’s where the idea for the book all came together. I was forced to just sit, so the park became my inspiration.”
Both Syka and Slovin are former Del Mar lifeguards.
“That’s where we met and connected. He’s a wonderfully talented artist. It was a natural collaboration. I’d sketch out my ideas and he perfected them,” said Slovin. Syka is a recent graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and now resides in Morro Bay.
A book launch party was held in Del Mar on Dec. 21 attended by Del Mar lifeguards. Slovin plans to speak at local schools and to local organizations to spread his message of respecting and embracing nature.
“The Adventures of Enu: The Tale of the Giant Whale” [Nature Unplugged, 2012] is available for sale both on amazon.com or from http://natureunplugged.com