It’s cold now. The kind of cold that makes changing into your wetsuit in the parking lot seem like a nearly insurmountable obstacle. And taking it off? Forget it. Fingers numb, fumbling for your key while the wind whips your face.My favorite part is attempting to unpeel myself without introducing my nipples and gooseflesh to innocent passersby. I love it, though. Winter surfing separates the wheat from the chaff and perpetuates a camaraderie in the line-up that I adore; my body may be cold, but I’m warm and fuzzy inside.
But there are plenty of cold swells ahead, I’m still thinking about my last sunny and 75 session. I pulled up next to the curb behind my ex’s truck and got out to look. I only saw one bobbing head —Brad. Years of watching him from the beach have rendered me an expert at identifying him in the line-up. I give him a nod and a half wave, but I don’t think he sees me. My heart goes on beating normally as if nothing strange is happening and all I can think is, “I wonder what South Lido looks like.”
I get back in the car and drive South. It’s glassy, but ridiculously small, even for me. Looks like it’ll be a nostalgia sesh today; just me and Brad. I pull back into the spot behind his truck and change. As I approach the water’s edge, I wave. He waves. The paddle out is nothing, 10 seconds later I’m smiling at Brad from 10 feet away. The sun was shining and crazy foreigners were playing in the waves, hooting and hollering the way tourists are wont to do. The conditions weren’t great, but I caught a few waves and had some serious fun.
You know, people tell you time heals all wounds and you never believe it at the time. But damn if it isn’t true. And the funny thing is, you go out about your life and you don’t even realize those wounds are healing until one day, you paddle out next to the man who broke your heart and you are unshaken. No accelerated heartbeat, no hot face, no anger, nothing. Just the joy of the ocean, a calm, cool center of stoke.
That day made me realize how unshakable I have become. Maybe it is symptomatic of age or the cumulative grounding force of so many hours in the ocean, but I just feel calmer in general. I feel OK. In my twenties, shit, even last year, I didn’t feel like this. I felt as though I was on a rocky precipice, always in danger of tumbling over the edge. Now, I feel like the rock. It’s a good feeling. But, hey, I’m no fool; just like the tides, everything is changing, always, and what is unshakable today may be shattered tomorrow. No matter what, though, I know with unshakable certainty, that I’ll be fine. Absolutely fine.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS SUNDAY, JANUARY 8th? I know what you’re doing! You’re coming out with me to Jannus Live for Reggae Sunday with Lefty at the Washout, Burning Tree and Tyson Marshall of Offshore Riot. This FREE, all ages show is brought to you by our friends at Gulfster.com and the lovely folks at Jannus Live.
If you see me there, say hi! (seriously, say hi, don’t just send me an email later about how you saw me there– that crap creeps me out, guys– I don’t bite)