Thursday, December 01, 2011

surf and smurf

at low tide there's thirty feet of sand between the seagrass and the line where the waves reach, falter, and retreat. in that expanse, tiny, translucent crabs skitter sideways, back and forth, occasionally disappearing into the holes they've dug. there must be some purpose to their nonstop activity, but whatever it may be is indecipherable.

further out, into the waves, the girl is on a short board, working in the gaps between the swells. every so often she, the board, and a wave connect in a long, frenzied ride to the sand. spent, the wave slides back dejectedly. the girl, meanwhile, gathers her board and sprints back into the fray.

the low waves are often taller than she is, but she is relentless. she drives into them, dives through them, dances between them. her energy matches theirs, surpasses it, until she emerges in the relative calm behind the breakers. in the surf, her movement is purposeful and powerful. her arms and legs are strong beyond her years. in the waiting green water past the sand bar she is watchful, impatient, eager to throw her board into another headlong rush toward the beach.

a muscular wave rises behind her, and the girl launches herself into the midst of it. she and the board accelerate down and ahead, into an uproar of spray and sand.

at the end of each ride she smiles, rises, and turns. again. again. again. the churning water batters her. she is unperturbed. the waves, in turn, are implacable, innumerable, inexorable. everything they touch they inevitably wear down.

eventually the girl picks up her board, absorbs yet another wave, and hesitates. she shakes it off, turns and walks out of the surf. she is smiling.

behind her, on the horizon, a two-masted schooner moves smoothly, gracefully, at full sail. between clouds, the sun catches the white canvas, turning it incandescent for a long minute.

gradually the sails sink below the horizon, then disappear.


Fish and Bicycles said...

Wow. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but you were too rapt in the delight of watching your daughter loving every drop out of life, which is perfectly understandable and as it should be.

spaceneedl said...

what other shoe would that be, my friend? and...would it fit me?