The pockmarked, white and gray mottled moon beams brilliantly overhead, illuminating the seascape in a silvery pall, and casting gleaming reflections across myriad facets of an agitated sea.
Hunched over my surfboard shrouded in a monk black wetsuit, I bob like a buoy staring into the void of night sitting chest deep in the wintry Pacific. Shivers vibrate from my bones sending occasional shock waves through my body. A frigid offshore wind whispers in my ears and stabs at my back taunting patience, discipline, and endurance, as I clutch my biceps straining to hold in warmth, and hold out against the creep of hypothermia.
Swells born in the oceanic wilderness thousands of miles away pass beneath me pounding the nearby rocky shoreline, the energy from a distant storm grinding the edge of the continent into cobblestones and sand like crumbs from a cookie. I float up over crests and sink down into troughs to the rhythms of the ocean. And wait.
A wave appears. Silently, it emerges out of the depths of night, a one dimensional black wall growing larger, a solid constant in an otherwise ceaselessly shifting realm of the half visible. A quick shift to a prone position and I’m paddling. I spring up to sit, digging in the water with my legs like a water polo player. I grab the nose of the board, shoving it leftward, I thrust onto my belly into a paddle and effect a ninety degree turn. Two hard digs and I’m in, a split second later and I’m standing. Everything else ceases to exist, the wave a vehicle to an alternative universe.
Racing down the face of the wave the world is left behind. Like slicing a nick in the fabric of time and entering another dimension for a fleeting moment before piercing back into reality. I slip into a liminal realm where the space between seconds stretches into something that matters. Where there are no barriers but the limits of natural law. All burdens and concerns vanish. Where there is no cold. No problems. No pain. No job and no responsibilities. Not a worry in the world. There is no world. There is only a single minded focus on the wave and my relation to nature.
And nothing else matters.