Shoulder high slop greeted my companions and I session before last. It was sunny, and there was Wednesday afternoon glee in the air among some of us – empty lineup!
At the very moment we scratched into our wetsuits, stealing crumbs of wax off each other, news was coming through of a brutal terror attack in one of Europe’s largest cities.
With his head down, already in bull mode, a friend looks up at me and says,
“bro, I don’t even want to know”.
I knew he wasn’t being insensitive. He did want to know. Just not right at that moment. The session had begun. We had arrived at the gates of our little corner of paradise and had left the world behind us.
“Well, let’s have fun and hammer it for them”, he gleamed.
Inspiring words, even if having a fun surf is not going to rid the world of evil. My mood lifted straight away. Thinking in this way did spark a mental resilience and togetherness which I think we all understood.
Punchy little summer lumps kept us going for an hour or so. We laughed in the sun and the boys were ripping.
We should never forget the privilege of being able to duck out like this each week. Surfing is relaxing because you can’t afford to slip into a daydream for very long before mother ocean will either tempt or topple you toward the beach. This keeps the mind off other things – food for the soul. We are given a chance to escape, rest and return to the beach with a level head, better able to deal with the troubles of the day.
But do we step out of the world, or into it?