There is a place of waiting. It is just beyond where the waves break and just in front of where they begin to rise. In this place there is peace, but there is also expectation.
Surf boards are buoyant, of course they are, but this is a truth lost to those on the shore. Tie one to your ankle, keep it close, and you’ll never sink. Wetsuits too increase float-ability. Properly suited and surfboarded, one can wait forever.
Sea swells. Waves pass. Still the surfer sits on his board facing out into the endless.
Successful surfers posses two essential character qualities. The first is bravery. The ocean has no respect for timidity. Minute after minute, day after day, year after year, eon after eon the sea has persisted in pounding against the shore. It has perfected its art. The sounds of the surf, the white wash upon the sand, the precise pull of the retreating water – all are the result of flawless oceanic discipline. The sea is perfect. It gets all the gold stars. It demands similar devotion, if not in time, at least in intent, from its guests. Ride the waves, but do not hesitate. See them. Embrace them. Become one. Trust them to do what they do. Do not fear. They will follow through.
The second necessary characteristic is more mystical. It is a sense, an inclination, an instinct to know when the time is right to paddle. The waves come ceaselessly, and to ride them is to recognize the moment and take it with gusto and glee. This ability to see the wave, surrender one’s hesitation, and surf is innate. Fortunately, it is innate in every person. In most it is undeveloped, and that is to imply, it can be developed. It can be learned. Through practice and perseverance, anyone with a shred of confidence can begin to feel the ocean and surf.
There is no shame in waiting, in having the patience to become acclimated before taking a wave and letting it take you home. Wait if you will. The waves will faithfully roll.
But know that the longer you wait, the more the expectation will build. Unlike the ocean which swells and spends itself cyclically, the suspense will not be satisfied until you surrender and surf. Sit in that place of pause and let the reckoning rise. Dare the possibility to pour into your spirit. Savor the uncertainty. Eventually, you will be bursting with breathless anticipation of the adventure to come.
It will come, and when it does, when you are brave enough, and the moment is right, and you know it, surf.
There is a place of waiting, a place of expectation and hope between the wave’s birth and break. Be there, and then…