I wake from my afternoon nap in a panic. The late golden sun melting below the palm trees, the wind creating dancing shadows of jagged palm fronds across my turquoise bed sheet. The scent of smoke from a nearby fire drifts through the cracked window, reminding me of the many remote and tropical islands of which my younger self ventured through.
Suddenly, all of my surf trips flashed before my eyes. That was it. No more of those wild days. But then slowly, panic gives way to acceptance. A giving way that has been weaving its way throughout my mind for the past couple of years. A feeling that was certainly not always easy to grasp.
In the very moment of exploration, I know I made the absolute most of it. I couldn’t have lapped up any more of it had I tried. Though, coming out of the other side of filling every spare moment immersed in the ocean, it’s a relief to not be 100% engrossed in it anymore. It’s a making way for something even greater.
My cup has well and truly overflowed with fullness for all the waves I’ve been privileged enough to ride. As I write, I sit with my mug of liquorice tea, while the first of the winter swells grace the shores. My rusted bicycle recklessly leans against a tree trunk from my early morning surf check. One where many hungry surfers lined the carpark, frantically getting into their wetsuits, eager to steal even one great ride. And yet, I felt a great calmness as I cycle away, no longer having that burning desperation to be out there.
It was only a few years ago that I would punish myself for missing even one morning surf. The times when I did surf early, I’d then need to be out there in my lunch break and again after work. A complete and utter obsession.
Now, a mysterious anticipation lingers in my mind. An anticipation for the next chapter to come. Curiosity tends to hijack many moments throughout my day; how great it must be on the other side. It must be something pretty incredible if it’s going to be any greater than my love of surfing.
Of course, this passion for surfing is never going to vanish and it will always remain a key foundation.
Rather, there’s some kind of interlude playing out.
A slow burn.
There’s no longer a fearful clutching at something that feels like it’s slipping away. In recognising the need for that interlude, alluring visions flash through my mind. A tiny hand in mine, small and clumsy steps, wide and sparkling eyes as we slowly make our way around the edge of a remote island.