Monday, August 09, 2010

Making Friends

On Saturday, the unexpected happened.

Most of you know about my turbulent relationship with the Atlantic Ocean. I wrote about some of it here. A trip home one summer with a visit to my beautiful Pacific confirmed this.

Vincent hasn't had a great trip to the beach yet - all last summer it was rainy or stormy and he only got into the water once. He couldn't believe the lack of waves - the Atlantic on HIS side of the world was always ready for action.

All of this changed, for both of us, on Saturday. A group of teens was determined to have a beach day and to my surprise, they invited me along.

We headed east and immediately noticed we were heading into a storm. We didn't have much optimisim and weren't really surprised. Vincent, summer, and beach trip all add up to a rainy day in the history books. Why would today be any different?

We arrived to light showers and spent some time shopping for souveniers. We laughed at a post card depicting a very large woman in a bikini with the words, "Come on over, the Food's Great!" on it. It perfectly summed up what Vincent had observed about the good ole USA - lots of fast food, and lots of fat people (his host family excepted, of course). After a trip back to the car for some snacks and to gather equipment, we finally headed to the shore. Glenna, Vincent, Stephen, Kelso, and I couldn't wait to get into the water, even if it was still rainy.

As soon as my toes dipped into the surf, I received my first surprise. The water was cold. I had never felt the Atlantic like this, probably because most of my beach trips were in September with the Women's Retreat. Glenna and I were thrilled and debating whether we would go all the way in - it was that cold. So refreshing!

I don't know what happened to Kelso, but soon we were joined by Kelly and noticed my second surprise; waves. There were surfers, and they were carving it up on the playground! I couldn't believe it! Vincent couldn't believe it! I immediately gave up all thoughts of not going in and dove under. Suddenly, I was back in very familiar territory and instincts took over. Time to play!

While chatting with the teens, I had one eye on the sets coming in. I spotted my wave and kept track as it drew closer. Like I've done a hundred times before, I suddenly turned toward shore, without explaination, and started swimming as hard as I could.


I caught the wave and body surfed most of the way in. I cannot even describe how exhilarating this is! I stood up and gave a holler and noticed a tall French kid had caught the wave with me. We were both grinning ear to ear, and we both immediately headed back for more.

Each of us had eyes that were stinging from the salt, but we didn't care. With each wave we caught, we knew it was worth it. Glenna had her first taste of what it was like to enjoy a real ocean. She learned how to dive under the waves, and she learned what to do when she didn't dive far enough and the wave pinned her under (go limp, wait for it to release you, stand up).

It was glorious.

So, Atlantic, I think I am finally able to call you friend. I thank the Lord for giving me a much-needed day like Saturday in a week full of stress.

God is good.


Jessica Leigh said...

I don't think I'll ever find a kindred spirit in any beach.
Give me mountains and a good book, and I'm set. :)

agable said...

Sounds like a good time.
Praying for you at jury duty this morning!


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