Riding the Waves

August 21, 2011 § 5 Comments

On my summer vacation to Block Island I rode a boogie board for the first time.  I knew nothing about riding a board of any kind.  On our second visit to the beach I decided to just swim out, lie on my belly, and ride the waves to shore.  It took a few runs before I trusted my ability to stay on the board well enough to allow my arms to float freely, rather that grasp the sides of the board, when a wave was suddenly rushing me along.

The rhythm of the waves never failed to carry me back to my boys playing in the sand.  On my first few runs I sometimes kicked my feet or paddled my arms to go a little faster.  Sometimes, I felt the waves were artificially influenced by a recently passing boat.  Always, they were a surprise because I faced the shore.

As my confidence grew, so did the distance out into the Atlantic that I’d swim before turning to ride again.  Sometimes, the final pushes to shore filled my board shorts with sand.  Always, the arrival at the end of ride was a thrill and the waves beaconed me back.

My faith that the waves would carry me safely to shore, with my only effort being to ride them, brought me greater joy with each ride.  Imagine if this were the kind of metaphor our culture most often used to describe childbirth…

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