Thursday, November 27, 2008

Righteous Epic Wave Ride

What a perfect day for playing in the Pacific Ocean. It was unusually hot, about 90 degrees. With brilliant sunshine and almost complete absence of the usual chilly seabreeze. I don't remember the wind ever being that calm in the afternoon here. Brother Larry and I got in the water which I think was in the mid 60's of Fahrenheit temperature. Once in it, the water didn't feel cold at all.

I've always loved being in those big blue-green Pacific Ocean waves. Being lifted up off the sand by them as a swell passes by. Watching the distant horizon disappear and then return. In recent years the swirling salty ocean has always felt like it cleansed me of the sadness of seeing mom's decline, and let me just enjoy the time with her. As we began to wade out to the breaking waves, we were constantly being pushed toward Seattle by a strong current. So much that I wanted to get out on the shore and walk back to where we had parked our towels and stuff. Each time we would ride a wave in, we waded back out toward Mexico to counteract this drifting. Wading against this current and back out against the incoming waves was difficult. It reminded me of seeing Mom trying to complete simple movements like combing her hair or taking a few steps. The waves and powerful currents slowing her down and constantly buffeting her are a disease in her nervous system.

We rode the waves on boogie boards. It's like a little surfboard that you sort of lay on with your legs hanging off the back. You can raise up on your elbows for a different view, and you can steer by leaning left or right. That's about the extent of my expertise. I see boogie boarders who are far advanced and ride along the face of the wave like on a real surfboard. On this day I saw a couple of them manage to ride under the curl of the breaking wave and pop out on the face of the wave like you see surfers do in movies. I like to get as far out as I can where the waves are breaking but I can still touch the bottom. As a wave comes in and starts to fall over its own feet, the water in front of it rushes back and it gets suddenly much shallower. This is when I like to crouch down and then spring forward to ride on the white froth in front of the wave.

After a while, Larry decided to take a nap on the sand. I continued riding and increased my focus on the moment. I felt a part of that beautiful rhythmic ocean and waves and sun and air and the sounds of the water and feeling my legs push me through it and feeling it push my legs. I didn't have my glasses on, so the visual experience was impressionistic. The close-up view was sharp. There were these sparkly sand particles swirling in the water, glinting in the sunlight. They gave away the secret movements of the water. There was all manner of white foam on top of the water, appearing and disappearing and moving in lines and streaks and blobs. At one point I stood there looking down at a pattern of lines of foam moving toward me and out to sea. Faster and faster as the water moving past my feet accelerated and dug my feet into the sand. It was my whole field of view and the sensation of movement made me want to fall down.

Sometimes the wave ride takes me to the knee deep water and I just walk back out to catch another. On one of the rides I enjoy looking at the frothy breaking wave right next to me. The froth and I are cruising along at the same speed. It's a perspective I've never had before. I'm one with the boiling froth. I caught a series of long rides that went right up to the shore. The boogie board eventually grinds to a stop on the sand when the water is a few inches deep. I roll off in the sandy water and laugh. I'm smiling and laughing and happy in a childhood moment.

1 comment:

..WW.. said...

good good