June 22, 2011

I Feel Sorry For Mountains

We took the motorbike out to the beach again today, just you and me. You wanted to start with a quick sandcastle, but quickly gave in to the lure of the ocean. The waves were a bit big and I could tell you were scared. I had sworn to myself not to push too hard this trip, so to let you find your comfort zone yourself. The ocean can be intimidating and I want you to find your place in it on your own.

We started timidly. Holding hands. Ankle deep. Running back to the safety of the shore. Your eyes sparkled and your yelps were uncontrollable. I watched as you looked from the waves to the horizon, amazed that anything could be so vast and powerful.

Knee deep now. The water sprays your face. You lick your lips and wipe away the foam. You let go of my hand and feel the water with both hands.

"Try just swimming around here. If you feel like you are losing control, just stand up."
"I don't want to."
"Okay than, just hold my hand."
"Can we go further out?"
"We can go as far as you want."

Waste deep. You are scared and excited. You let go of my hand and quickly doggie paddle about, springing up at the first sign of a breaking wave. The weather is perfect. The sun plays hide and seek behind the clouds. The next wave knocks you down. You face is underwater. I see your feet pop up. I am sure that our day in the surf is over. You spring up, wiping the water from your face. You are laughing.

"Never fight the ocean. It is is too strong. If you try and stand up to it, it will knock you down and you will lose control. The secret is to go with its flow. Swim with the waves. Don't try to be still. Move. Flow. Kick."

You are listening. Watching the waves. Weighing your options. Next set-incoming. You turn your back slowly and jump forward to catch a wave. You kick holding your head above the water. You go under, but you spring back up. I am so proud of you.  Later, we are sitting in the wet sand as the tail end of waves lap up against our bodies.

"Isn't it amazing that all these pieces of  sand are just tiny pieces of rocks from old mountains? The ocean keeps smashing against the earth turning it into sand."
"Yeah, but I feel sorry for mountains turned into sand." You sift the tiny pebbles through your hands.
"Where do new mountains come from?"
"Pieces of the earth are always moving and when they bump up against each other they form mountains like this." I show you with my hands.
"Can we go back in the waves? I want to practicing going with the flow."

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