Wednesday, January 04, 2006

cowboy wave riders of Torquay

You spend time sitting on a park bench watching the waves slip into the shore line, blue fringed in white beneath a pink sky scattered with grey. This beach is new to you. And you need this new air, fresh against your lips and whispering into your hair. It plays with your jacket, whipping the edges up against your chest.

The surfers on the shore line are packing up their boards now. You watch their hair, heavy with salty droplets hang over their determined faces. Boards go back into their zippered bags and they heft them under their armpits to make their way back to the car. You wonder what it would be like to taste the freedom they do. Stealing a ride on an untamed beast. This has been on your mind for a while. Tasting freedom.

Pulling your jacket closer around you, you pick up your bag and head for the path. Breathing in the sea air is a novelty these days. It's been a while, but you feel completely at home. It soothes your soul and tames this fire inside. For the first time in as long as you can remember, you breathe out properly. You offer the sea your various sorrows in a single exhale and it is taken from you with the waves rushing out. Offered back is a new life, a new scent. You breathe it in, before it too is taken away.

Up the coast you know the waves are crashing harder for the more daring surfers and so, you head towards the rocks too. Here the wind whips around your face, slapping at your cheeks, turning them a frosty rose. It's not so much you breathing in air, but it being pushed into your lungs with the force of the blow. You push your hair back from your eyes and watch the surfers still playing here. They appear with each gigantic wave and disappear into the foam as they crash into the shore. You watch them hugging their boards, lifting up and sailing across the water with wild abandon. Cowboys without hats. You smile into the wind, feeling their exhilaration - wishing it was yours.

Leaning against the weathered fence post, you spy the sun as it vanishes into the horizon. Perhaps this exhilaration will one day be yours.