Thursday, August 16, 2007

What happens in the Water

After a frustrating Friday at work and a Saturday of old familial rhythms you thought you grew out of, on Sunday you send everybody off bon-voyage-"here's your hat, what's your hurry"-style and make a break for the beach later than you normally would. At mid-morning, the hourly parking lot is already filled and, instead of circling around and around, you pony up the day-long fee because you're about ready to jump out of your skin. You flip off your early morning buddies who are out of the water but who are heading back to the sand to loiter under the sun.

The black pavement of the parking lot is hot. The sand is hot. Your collar is hot and you speak too loudly to your buddies loitering at the water's edge. Who cares about the surf report? It's small and crowded, and just because of everything racing around your head, the water looks better than it ever did.

You can't get in fast enough.

You can't get a wave either. The brain isn't working as fast as the body and the body just reacts to the freedom of the water. All the pent-up energy pours out in a flailing of limbs. By the time the body tires out, the brain takes over and feels the water and sees the waves and helps you identify the catchable waves.

And there are a few waves under your feet. They center you in the moment. A drop-knee turn calms your jerky movements. You suddenly don't feel like you need to paddle full-speed to the buoy.

And you try to comprehend what just happened. Why you're sitting there. Why you feel better. Why you felt so bad before. You sound out to a buddy floating in the water and he sounds back... a sounding board for insights found in the water. A split wave sends you twice as far from each other and you're alone with those pressing thoughts again.

A paddle-out to the buoy doesn't sound like a bad idea. But it's not frantic, it's steady. It's even. Alone and facing the horizon, you can't see the condos and apartments, the cars and parking lot, the beach chairs and boogie boards. Alone and facing the horizon, you can't hear the humanity behind you. When you're ready, you can paddle back.


Alan_M said...

Nicely written piece, Grace!

Alyx said...

Lovely and poetical, Grace--the ocean really is a healing force.

marina said...


I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for sometime now. I love how your posts truly connect to your readership. I’m interested to have an interactive/link-up/post with you. I’ve written a book that you and your audience might enjoy and am preparing to do a virtual blog tour and would love an opportunity to participate on your blog.

However, my young adult book ‘Turtle Feet, Surfer’s Beat’ is only a small part of what I’m trying to build. The book itself revolves around a typical suburban teen girl, Penelope, from the States that is forced to go to Costa Rica with her parents for her father’s job assignment. Involuntarily, her parents sign up Penelope and her little brother to spend two weeks at the Leatherback turtle biological station (for ‘their own good’). Penelope, obviously isn’t pleased but forgives the horrid accommodations and the never ending bug brigade as she sees the turtle and instantly pledges to do all she can to help it from extinction. But hang ten, dudes! Penelope is about to get help. One lonely night, as she’s patrolling the beach for turtle poachers she stumbles and falls directly into the arms of the local surf champ. Together they dive into the world of surfing and marine preservation.

These days, we are constantly facing global problems that seem to be getting worse and worse daily. Living in Costa Rica, I’ve been inspired to take action. I started by writing this book and am now developing a community of teens, surfers, artists, scientist, and everyone else who is interested in working together to have fun while helping out.

I would love to join forces with you and your readers in a fun, interactive way. I will gladly write a post about your blog (and whatever you will like to plug:), plus a link with your blog to my website and blog, in return for a review of my book and/or small interview.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon. I can get a copy out to you ASAP.
Thanks so much,