My Wave

A little inspiration.

Maybe just one more.

Relaxing, I let the surf carry me. I reveled in the life-pulse of the sea. Floating just beyond the breaking waves, I was alternately heaved skyward and sucked back down towards the water. I gazed out at the open ocean stretched before me, a vast inky expanse laced with prancing ripples. Soft grey pre-dawn light enveloped the scene through a dense blanket of cottony clouds. The nose of my surfboard skimmed gently over the water before me as I dangled my legs in its wet salty chill and swathed myself in the rhythm of the waves. A few gluttonous gulls chattered by on their way to search the shore for scraps.

The waves around me calmed. I watched as the next set of ripples formed in the distance and began to roll towards me. This was my set. My pulse quickened in anticipation as I paddled my board around to face the shore. I waded forward; matching my pace to the rate the tide drew me back towards the watery field. As I focused the entirety of my attention on the flow beneath me, I could not fail to notice the drop as my wave loomed behind me, my excitement surging up alongside it.

I put on a burst of speed as my wave caught the tail end of my board. I was whisked up the swell as it rose. Just as I reached the top, the wave crested. I threw my body into motion, jumping against the rise to stand with my right foot forward. I drove my weight down into the nose of my board, pushing it onto the face of my wave. A flood of exhilaration washed over me as I felt my board catch the curve.

I skidded down the face of the wave, settling into its embrace as it broke to the right. I angled my board into the elliptical curl of the wave. The liquid crystal of sea formed a living tunnel around me as a light salty spray misted over. I dipped my hand into the wall of the tunnel, cutting a pattern into it. My wave was a beauty. Gliding through the stunning tube, I felt all my worries stream out behind me, swallowed into the sea spray.

All too early, the channel began to shrink. I felt the curl close up behind me, thrusting me out with an icy splash. Reminding me that I was only a visitor to the incredible seascape within. With a sigh and a smile, I kicked my board into a weave, sailed over the swell and lay back down. Maybe just one more. I paddled back out to the open ocean, contemplating more than just waves.

So this post, in case you were wondering, is just a little piece inspired by the picture above.

Some childhood memories resurfaced as I looked at it. I was born in Huntington Beach, California: Surf City, USA. But I was only 6 when we moved away.

The vague memories I have from that time are happy and fun, and mostly supported by photos. I’ve been told I never cried and always had a big smile lighting up my face.

A toucan at the zoo. Giant shrub animals in some park. Finding bottlecaps and washed-up jellyfish on the beach. A street show featuring a cat that does tricks, and I got to be one of the human platforms it used to jump through hoops. Sun, sand, and salty seafoam. Swimming and swimming and swimming, as much as my heart desired. Cartwheels at the daycare/preschool with my best friend Courtney Fireball. Or Firebomb. Or Firecracker. I don’t know anymore…

But I never got to surf. I was too little, I guess. Later in life, I did get a surfboard, and a lesson or two while on vacation. Unfortunately you don’t get much use out of surfboards in Pennsylvania.

I still feel connected to the ocean. Particularly the Pacific, but others will do in a pinch. The feeling that spreads through me in its presence is one of utter wholeness. Pure bliss. Peace and pleasure, but more. Deeper. The rhythm of the waves washes over my soul.

I don’t know if it’s possible to recapture the lost dreams of your childhood, but it’s probably not healthy to dwell on the unfulfilled ones. So, on to the next project!