Been sitting out here, waiting, riding, enjoying my solitude for the better part of the day; just me, nature and God. No need in my catching every wave, it’s the biggest wave I am after, in between set’s, the solitude is the air I breathe, it is all that I need for the day.
Down the beach, a couple of guys are catching every wave the ocean can put behind them, not me, I wait for what satisfies my Love of surfing. Surfing is a part of my soul, in my contentment, the waiting for the perfect wave, I show my respect for the wave.
Sitting on the beach, next to my board, the water dripping from my hair, reflecting on my day and the waves I have ridden. An older lady walks up to me, all dressed in white linen, a colorful scarf around her shoulders and neck; carrying her sandals.
That has to be a spiritual experience for you out there, I have been watching you, you didn’t catch a lot of waves, but the ones you did catch; you seemed to enjoy. She says.
I looked at her, she seemed like a nice enough lady, probably just taking a stroll to clear her mind, it wasn’t for exercise though, you could tell by her gate, it was a peaceful walk she was taking. I think to myself, it is a spiritual experience, I hope more surfers get that feeling, most do; but the spirituality of surfing is the reason I am here, so much more than a sport.
It is, I would rather be out there than in a church. Sometime, you should try it. I say.
The older lady gives me one of those grandmotherly smiles, the kind that says that she is younger at heart than her body can handle.
At my age, I think I am safer getting my spirituality in church. She tells me with a warm smile. I have already broken one hip, so for now I will live through you. The lady says with a smile while she adjust her scarf. She smiles, a warm and charming smile, then walks off slow and peaceful down the beach.
For a surfer, there is always one more wave to ride, one more wave calling your name; I paddle out one more time. The waves roll beneath me, I begin to think. The enduring moments in life are like photographs, kept somewhere inside, not in a photo album, never processed externally; it’s like they are pinned to a big bulletin board for safe keeping. I would imagine in the soul, where all good unseen yet beautiful things in a person’s life should be kept.
Every now and then in every person’s life, a picture floats before the minds eye, not like a simple snapshot, but a picture that has a sensual motion that attracts your attention, taking you back to a special time; a better place. The faces of the people you meet along the way, their expressions, their actions, all things good are in the soul; should we rid the soul of the trash we see, the soul will remain clear with plentiful room.
The older lady, she is in there now, our brief interlude, giving momentary peace to both our days; with nothing more than a cordial acceptance of each other’s presence, the time spent was kind and warm. That is where I am now, visiting my soul, in my wait for the last wave of the day.
Years ago, Arizona Beach, the southern Oregon coast. Been driving down the coast for a few hours, I sat up camp, and grabbed my board. The waves were deceptively perfect, I paddle out and waited. A wave buildt up, I caught it, but before I knew it the wave tossed me about like the foam a wave sends to the shore. Now under the waterline, the wave and my board holding me down; as if I were trying to catch the wave from beneath.
The blackness, a calmness overcame the blackness, all I could see was a white cottage above a golden white sand with a heavenly blue sky above. The only thing I wanted to do, was to go to the cottage, there were no sounds, no trepidation, and no fear.
All at once, the silence broke, I could hear the wave above me, I opened my eyes, I could see the sand and rocks below my face. I released myself from the pressure of the wave and the board, once to shore, I took my board and laid on the beach, watching as the sun set closer and closer to where it should be for the night; where it will light up the other half of the world.
There was no grasping for air, no trembling or shaking, just the relaxing. For a moment, I thought, it is a lazy moment, but how can that be? I just survived a drowning, but then, maybe I didn’t survive the drowning, least ways not in a typical way. Maybe, the relaxing was for me to have time to reflect; maybe it was God’s way of showing me what lay ahead of me. Something like a beautifully lit white cottage, where peace and beauty exist, far removed from the spoils of my life. Far from the shaking and rattling bones of humanity while they try so hard to feed me their popularity by conforming me to be like them; in their own staving off of their loneliness.
There may have been some truth in my mind of the time under the waterline, for when I took my board to the camp, there were no dings on my board nor on me, simply a sheltering of peace and calm.
For years after, people, those that should be closest to me, some are; they always questioned my deep thought, my Love for solitude. They thought me grumpy, a volatile person because I would simply say with certainty in my face: No, you will not tamper with my peace, my inner spirit; not with any faddish or societal ways, don’t need them.
Maybe for them, I am their mirror, everyone curses the mirror for what they see, if it’s not what they want to see. So they distance themselves, to the outskirts of their comfort zones, maybe in me, they see their own volatility, or their weakness; as they try to conform me to their standards.
I find it a lazy thought more than a strange thought, that in their time around me, they never ask why, in an honest trying to understand the man; that, that for now, stands before them. Maybe the thought should be, if they can’t understand me, will they ever be able to understand themselves? Taking comfort in my thought, if such is the case of their discomfort and lack of understanding; it is their cross to bear, the chances were given them.
Years continue to pass, growing in numbers. Two souls born, daughters; angelic little girls. Never in their years did I try to conform them, not to the standards of today, they would get that from our lackluster society. Through divorce, and an honest effort in life trying to be lived, distance in miles overcame true conversation, when honest hugs and love could not be felt; when understanding of life fell short in the distance. The white cottage, revealed it’s peace and calm once more.
It was not their fault, it’s in the understanding of those in our lives, or the lack. The unheard words of support and love, from me, the whispers in their ears from those around them; those things always explain the rudeness that resides in life, making everyone victims if not properly addressed. The expenses paid, the chances given, the knowledge I am alive is in the truth of my always striving for the connection. Till the day comes that their distance becomes mine, the blame will fall then on me; the manners of life’s values today, there is no blame if it can be passed. A person at some point, has to say, if they can’t see it by now, then they never will; it will then become a time that peace should override the strife. But someday, the beauty of an Agape love will be seen, even if I will be waiting elsewhere, far removed from this life; for the knowledge of life always waits inside the heart and soul, waiting to be read.
Sometimes life is like a flock of geese, beautiful in flight; but noisy. The sounds of life are many, between the laughter of glad times, and the tears of sadder times mixed with the accompanying sniffles. But for mankind, death is the loudest, or, death is of no concern; accept for the sympathy and drama attainment factors. Whenever I paddle out, I think of that, if something should happen; will I be remembered, forgotten, or will I be someone’s excuse?
Death is life, just as life is death, everyone touches both, even taking great amounts of avoidance in life’s processes from one to the other, everyone will; inevitably touch life’s final end.
In that, I have put my board in the wagon, changed my clothes from black rubber to a t-shirt and sweats, drying my hair a bit to avoid catching a cold. I stand, leaning against the wood trimmed window of the car door, looking out past the breakwater where the sun is beginning to set.
In my soliloquy I request, to see all that heaven will allow, I close my eyes in reverent thanks. In the closeing of my eyes, the golden white sand, the white cottage above, at the gate stands, a beautiful Lady, all dressed in white, to one side at her feet, a red haired dog with a white marbled chest; on the other, a Siamese cat.
I open my eyes, start the car, all that heaven gave; in heaven waits. Forget here on earth, forget in heaven. It’s time to head home.