Sunday 21st October 2007
Surfing this morning was a bit disappointing, too windy to be anything but a non-stop battle with no victory in sight. The wind was hot, northerly and offshore (this is good) but about 20 knots (bad). It swung around to a strong side-offshore so I emerged from the water a kilometre down the coast from where I’d paddled in, exhausted from 20 minutes of battling the waves and wind and catching only a couple of rides.
I walked over the sand towards the rocks, put my board safely out of the wind under a low overhanging rock, then turned around and walked back into the waves in my wetsuit to play…at least make the long trip down the coast worthwhile.
I love the wildness of the relentless waves here. I love springing lightly up over them and diving sleekly into their backsides like a dolphin, over and over. It feels like an improvisational dance, the ocean leading, me following its curves and its unpredictable moves, receptive but alert to its fickle nature. Fully present.
There’s nothing on earth that can match the awesome fluid power of the ocean’s currents as they pass through you. After a short time it has cleansed me from the inside out.
Thoroughly sea-soaked I wandered back to the car, eyes water-glazed, long hair tousled into perfectly natural, wind-dried ringlets, my body salty and clean, my energy clear and quiet. I was sitting at a safe distance on top of the rocks now, gazing back out at the unpredictable swell lines looming higher as they came closer, breaking into white crests peeling from one end to the other.
I wish I was back out there. On that wave, right there.
I pull on my hat, squint and gaze longingly out to sea, gently mesmerised for a while.
Gradually the spell wears off.
Driving back to the city, the ocean beckons from behind. I keep driving. Re-entering a landscape of concrete, polluting cars and mass consumerism, something feels painfully wrong.
Whizzing down the freeway a huge red sign on the other side catches my eye…”Wrong Way, Go Back” it says. God speaks to us in mysterious ways.
(PS. That's not me in the image, I'd freeze without my wetsuit)