Kaveman and I ended up going to First with our boards and went for a paddle. We forded the ankle bitter waves and went out to the buoys. I did a couple of bad back-flips off my board and wrestled the buoy for a minute. A fun little exercise in plain fun. We ended up in the tiny waves just standing next to our boards and talking until a knee high wave would come when we would jump on our boards, pop up and just make fools of ourselves. Par for the course if you ask me: no waves - good friends make the best of it.
It's a beautiful Monday here in Sachuest, Rhode Island. There is a stillness to the water that is so perfect that it actually redeems itself for not having any swell. It is a perfect summer day and I am inside hammering away on the keyboard, and shockingly, am pretty much, maybe, for the moment, ok with being inside. It could be the conversation I'm having with an old friend on the west coast as she sits in her office in L.A.. It could be the random mix of Slightly Stoopid, The Expandables, Jack Johnson, Sublime, G. Love and Ziggy that is streaming off the internet from Pandora Radio. Or it could simply be that I am taking solace in the fact that I have a few hours to do some laundry done, get my banking straight, drink cup after cup of coffee and just forget that work begins again in some 17 hours. The sun has another 5 hours before it sets and that beautiful blue isn't going anywhere, so I lean back take another sip.
I guess this isn't a post about the swell so much as a post about preparing the mental and preparing my surroundings for the swell. Maybe later I'll grab a summer brew and finally strip the wax off my Becker and get her ready for the hurricane swell that is soon to arrive. Or maybe I'll rush off to catch sunset with my camera or catch sunset with a friend over some dinner. Or maybe I'll just go to the beach and disturb the stillness because, well, I can't sit still for that long.
It's two in the morning and I have found this hour once again in the fashion of being too tired to do anything but sit in front of my computer and too awake from work to simply go to sleep. I have a Newcastle in my hands ( I silently wish I had a brown ale from Landon, I won't tell the Newcastle that but it's the simple late night truth). Daniel's music plays on my speakers, Lying in the Grass to be specific, and I'm kind of enjoying listening to something beautiful and understanding what every word means to the author. An ideal that I spoke of the other day to an old new friend. The ideal that I have a first hand understanding of Daniel's music, where his lyrics come from and how I can feel where he found the inspiration for the chords which match the days and nights we spent living his lyrics. And I think it's the simple fact of understanding which drives me to write in this early morning.
My first posts, back in California, were to help me make right a situation which I had let get out of control. Then my writings evolved to mirror my growth and my little day to day adventures. Now being back in the shelter of what I know best, I am enjoying having a strong understanding of the hows and whys to what makes me content and, well, happy for a better word. I have recently seen this in myself while bartending at Castle Hill, of all places. Daily I have hundreds of people come into my life, for short periods of time, and look to me to educate them on what it is that awes them so in this little piece of heaven. And, well, I can tell them how the tides work, where their fish, scallops, and oysters come from, and as was the case on Tuesday, when the weather will change. I felt the wind change, I stepped outside of my cabana bar, looked at the flag pinned in an east wind and said that we would start getting weather at 9:30. I was about 20 minutes off.
This summer we have been fortunate enough to have some early action in Caribbean and subsequently have experienced some early hurricane swell. Nothing of huge proportions but enough to keep us surfers chatty and excited. Daniel, Kevin and I scored a great session and an even better day the day after my birthday. As if surfing with them wasn't good enough, I surfed with this understanding in my mind. I will not proclaim that I was the best out there or that my knowledge makes me better in the water than anyone else but I will say that it grounds and focuses me. I find myself slipping off my board more and more often to dive the length of my leash and find the colder water away from the surface. Simply trying to soak up the solace that comes from being under water where I am but an awed visitor. Hurricane, by Daniel, plays now and it's fitting for it's my favorite song of his for it is about the storms which we have pounded our coast and how they have molded us into the men that we are today. "Hurricane won't you come my way," he sings and then continues, "My coast has been waiting on your waves." This is what we know, this is what we are and we are privileged to be molded by these storms. Anybody with any skill can come and surf the waves we do here on our beaches and our points, however it takes a true understanding of the lore and love of this point to find the shore after a waist to chest high day and be completely satisfied. A simple understanding that has taken 28 years to find me...
Taylor is on the island right now, in from Hawaii for a brief visit before he and Andrea leave for Indo. Today Taylor, his mom Josie and myself all went to Elephant Rock to soak up some of the 80 plus degree weather and soak up the story of what each of us have been doing in the last nine months since we've all spent time together. After lunch Taylor and I hiked Norman Bird and then due to the heat had to stop at the Surfers End and take a dip in the ocean. A lifeguard I knew from last summer was manning the tower and let us take a couple of rescue boards for a paddle. We dug our way out to the chasm and then kind of drifted in-between the chasm and the rocks just off the face of the puddingstone. I marveled at how cold the water was and how it was perfect for a day like today (Taylor wasn't as awed by the cold as I was, Hawaii will do that to you) however we both were drawn to the sincere clarity of the water. We just let the current take us, barely scratching the water with our fingertips when we needed to keep moving yet not disturbing the glass like clarity. I dropped in on a serious, serious ankle high wave, pulled a cheater five mid-way down the board, did my best tube stance and then stepped off into the shin high water. There was no swell, but as Taylor has been reminding me, you have to learn to ride the swell of your life. And today, we scored big. Outside my friends, Outside!