I wake up early Saturday. Next to my door is a blue IKEA bag with a wetsuit. My surf board is against the wall. It takes me less than 15 minutes to get ready. I park my van closer. I bring my board down, open the trunk, place it in the center above the back passenger seat shoulders. The dimension allows the board to be stable and not crushed. I drive over to Ramsey’s place where we combine our equipment onto his truck. We have small chatter. There’s usually music from his cassette player. Hip Hop or maybe exotic tunes but tasteful. Last night we saw each other at the basketball game. Our conversation continue with news about the presidential election. Ramsey rants about how people are electing a racist candidate. I’m in agreement. Discussing how the world is crazy is central to most of our talks. We proceed to update each other on personal news.
The drive is familiar. We head from highway 280 to the 1 freeway. It feels like a secret San Francisco passage. We see the sign for Pacifica. Its the first moment water appears. I marvel at the stunning view and wonder why people don’t ever take advantage. If people visit the beach I imagine they would have less reasons to be stress. I allow myself one day of the week but I can definitely use more. The beach has been therapeutic for my symptoms.
When Ramsey and I arrive we park in the same area. The parking lot right of the shopping center in Linda Mar. Not the parking lot next to Taco Bell. We unpack and get dressed. The tape deck continues to play while we prep for a session. We see familiar faces every week. I guess we’re locals now. We walk towards the beach. I immediately focus. My mind is racing, heart warming. I go thru mental notes about paddling, watching waves, and posture. I’m stressed before I even hit the shore.
Immediately when I touch the water the world makes sense. Water has a sacred feeling. Its the one natural element that we need to survive. It expands life. Water does what it wants. You submit to its greatness. Surfing is analogous to the world around us. We can control some forces but there’s an infinite amount we can not.
I look past the water for a wave hoping for one to ride. When it comes I paddle hard to leap ahead. I switch positions from chest to standing position as the momentum takes me. I’m riding a wave. I bury the moment inside my subconscious. The wave crashes and before it reaches the shore I fall. My body tumbles but then I rise to the surface. I find my board and start paddling back for the next one.