Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My First Wave

Prompt provided by Sometimes Sweet were you can join the fun by writing on the prompt in your blog (feel free to grab the image up top), then come back here and leave a comment with a sentence or two from your entry, and the link. 

Describe a "first" (first date, first lie, the first time you experienced something, first time in a particular setting, etc). Include as many details as possible to paint a picture.

I'd tried surfing a few times before, but always ended up paddling, defeated, towards shore after getting pounded mercilessly by waves I didn't know how to get over or under. Some new surfer friends I recently met insisted on helping. 

Surrounded by white sand, blue sky, and the ever-laughing ocean we set off early one morning from the campsite we'd inhabited the night before, boards in tow. My board, yes mine, is of the Costco variety, made of blue foam, with little (ok major) cat scratching etched completely over one side. It had been sleeping under the house for a couple years. And this is the part where I get nervous. See the ocean looks real inviting, but those waves will smack you around real good, and here on the Big Island, you're liable to land on lava rock, or worse, sea urchin, if the water is shallow. My girlfriends confidently stride up the beach, tanned, gorgeous, surely smelling my fear, and slowly as if time ticked with my heart, we wound leashes over our ankles and slid noiselessly in the water. 

The paddling itself is tough, but for me facing a wave and hoping I crest the top crosses into the opposite of my comfort zone. We try and try, and I fall and fall. I watch them catch wave after wave, red-painted toenails lifted high as their boards glide down the wave, then they're up, smiling salty grins. You gotta catch a wave, they say, you can't go in without it. Cheer me on then, I say, this can't be that hard. This one's yours! Paddle! Paddle! So I do, and my legs are shaking, my toes pressing the edge of the board, rush of wave in my ears, chasing me. It lifts me up, the wave actually lifts me up, and I'm riding it, fast. I push myself up with shaking arms and now standing the world goes quiet, peaceful, fast. Everything stops but me, this board, this wave. I did it. 

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