The other day I took a stroll to all of my favorite think spots. For a surfer, naturally, the optimal place to ponder in peace is the beach. While allowing me to check the surf at the same time, the beach is a very beautiful creation of nature. Being in one of those introspective moods where each thought led to an even deeper one, I began to contemplate what it is about the ocean that provides solace. As I looked out to the sea and observed fellow surfers playing in the waves, my thoughts evolved to why it is that I, like so many others, love to surf.

My initial response was automatic: “It’s fun!” But since I was in one of those deep moods, I challenged myself to push further into this notion. What is it that constantly draws me back, rain or shine, to the surf? I closed my eyes and imagined myself crouched on my board, being pushed forward by a moving wall of water. This simple act of riding a wave turns me into a liar every time I tell myself, “Okay, one more then I’m going in.” Something always pulls me back.

I recalled epic waves still etched into my memory as well as equally unforgettable wipeouts, and I realized that all the time I am at the mercy of the sea. The surf is a natural force with no regard for anything in its path. It dances to its own rhythm. No one can tell the waves how to be. They can try, and God knows I’ve begged the flat ocean for swell or have cursed choppy surf, but ultimately the sea does what it wants. It reminded me of people who appear so carefree and unconcerned with what the world has to say about them. They seem to be in such control of the way they live their lives. These people possess a certain magnetic force that attracts others, and keeps them bound under their beautiful spell. It occurred to me that it is this same energy that entices me to the ocean and compels me to surf.

By riding waves I am succumbing to the unyielding power of the ocean. To this giant force of nature, I am insignificant and unnoticed, a mere visitor to their world. This thought saddened me. The ocean does not care about me, yet I am deeply and forever in love with it. I spend countless amounts of time, energy, and money, just to be apart of something that would never even skip a beat in its swell patterns if I left. But if I weren’t there, would I ever know what it really meant to completely let go, to allow myself to give in to something much bigger than me? No. I would never know what it felt like to take something in all its inconsiderate glory, and just appreciate it for exactly what it is.

As my thoughts came full circle and I gazed out to this thing that had such a powerful hold over me, I realized what I needed to do. I snapped out of it and ran home to grab my board.