Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Surfing


I am not a surfer. I know a lot about surfing. I have watched many hours of surfing simply because if my husband had his choice he would spend most days surfing. He has described in great detail surfing and has encouraged me to surf but I have never pursued this great love of his. Honestly, it scares me. I am not a very good swimmer - I grew up in Colorado and never became confident in the water. The few times I have ventured into the ocean I ended up with a mouth full of sand and my nose full of salt water. No, I would much rather sit on the sidelines (the beach) and just watch.

What is it about surfing that makes people so addicted to it? It is almost as if they really can't get enough - they always want another wave. I was reflecting on this the other night as I watched my husband read his surfing magazine for the 20Th time in bed.

I thought about surfing as a metaphor for life. As you look out at the ocean you see one wave after another come crashing on shore. It looks scary, it is loud and it seems like it would just overwhelm you. If you are brave enough though you can grab your board (you security blanket) and head out. You find that you have to really work hard just to get out into it - paddling and paddling - maybe even holding your breath as you duck dive under the water. Your heart beats faster as you dig deeper and push harder. Finally you are beyond the break and suddenly it is much more quiet. You feel the gentle lulling of the ocean as you bob up and down. You begin to relax and feel the serenity. Enjoy. You wait. Sometimes for a very long time. And then, you see the swell coming. Now you must make the decision whether or not to go for it. Paddle away from it or paddle into it. You decide that this wave could be just the right wave for you so you turn your board and paddle like mad. In one continuous move you jump to a standing position and balance just as the water falls away from you. You have to bend your knees - let the wave accept you as you accept the wave. You look down the face of the wave. Falling fast. Trusting. When you reach the bottom you get to hold on for the ride. Making it your own. Adding your own style. Feeling the power of the ocean beneath you, the exhilaration. You ride it all the way in and head back out for more.

We can sit on the shore and just watch our lives pass us by or we can get our feet wet, jump in, hold our breath and hope for the best. We might get tumbled a few times but in the end the ride is all worth while.

6 comments:

walt said...

It sounds like surfing is like skiing. When you get to bottom
of the hill you have to get back on the chair to get back to the top of the hill. Just like surfing some will sit on the beach and with skiing some will sit in the lodge.

Sally said...

I know nothing about surfing and have never wanted to try it, but your description makes it very easy to see what would be so addicting about it. Love you!!!

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The Lopez Four said...

I just came across your blog, and I'm glad I did. You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself, and I admire your strength and views on life. I look forward to reading more in the future. Good Luck with everything! J~

clew said...

Hello ~ Just wandered by this afternoon, enjoyed my visit. :) I'll be back again. xo Clew

Crash said...

Yeah, but what about when the dweebs drop in on you? Or your friend, who's just learning to surf, tosses his board right at your head? Or, when you buy a brand new Takayama, a board but also a piece of art, and said friend runs into you on your maiden voyage and puts a nice little ding into it?
Good thing surfers, like your man, are mellow.