We remember very few days throughout the course of our lives. The birth of a child. The celebration of one’s graduation. A wedding day. The funeral of a close relative. All other occasions blend in with the banality and triviality that seem to surround most human activities. Aside from those few days, one’s life is but a blur, flowing tirelessly through the ether, a mere blip of existence in a dull universe. For a surfer, these few days to remember usually take place in the ocean.
The great tragedy of being a surfer is that you get to see things that most people will never see, much less comprehend. Fleeting moments in the water. A lip that projects in a way that blends with the light and catches your eye. A paddle over a huge set, right before it explodes on the bank, the rain shower of the lip dripping all around you, causing a rainbow to form against the sunlight. The smile of a friend as he exits the best wave of the day. These moments are but a glimpse of a life, a window into one’s soul. How to explain them to others? How to convey the moments of beauty, so rare in today’s world, that envelop us without warning?
Maybe we’re destined to experience these moments alone, lost in an endless sea of memories. Maybe that is what makes us surfers: the utter loneliness of the beautiful moments we experience and our inability to describe them to our fellow human beings. Maybe it’s for the best as well. If we were able to convey them, there would most likely be an even greater number of people in the water, seeking to peer through the windows of the soul.