**Sorry for the silence, but I have been tending to my health and well-being with a long-overdue trip to my hometown of San Diego, where I had the most wonderful time visiting with family and friends. It should come as no surprise that I managed to find an abundance of Smallpeace in beautiful, sunny Southern California. I think they must grow it there. Anyway, couldn’t get any photos of the surfers of which I write, as we were too far away, but suffice it to say that this was one of the more memorable images of my trip:
From the highest point in the gardens of the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple Meditation Gardens in Encinitas, California, the view of the Pacific Ocean is a site to behold. There is a raggle-taggle row of surfers bobbing in the water below. It is Friday morning, around 10:30 or so. On each board, a surfer waits, some talking, some staring out at the offshore break, some lazily paddling into a more strategic position. The beach along the shoreline is empty. It is a quiet section, and the air is full of anticipation.
Abruptly, the wind shifts and the surfers hustle into place. Any double-parked boards separate and fall into line, and then the poetry happens. The surfers angle for optimum positioning, sinuously, expertly, just ahead of where the swell has begun to build. Then, all at once, with Zen master focus, they all set off, synchronizing their strokes in time with the rhythm of the rising swell. The most practiced—or just plain lucky—among them get the timing just right, springing feline-like into an upright position, sinking their weight into their hips, softening their knees, and training their gaze in the direction they want their boards to go. It occurs to me that the relationship between surfer and sea is not unlike the alchemy that can occur between the best riders and horses, and I begin to see them as mini Poseidons rising from the depths, brandishing their tridents, in full command of their destinies, completely awake in the moment.