On October 6th of last year, I started out on what was to be a three week ritual of surfing daily at Roaring Beach. It turned into a six month ritual, then into a year ritual.
Well, after eight and a half months I still feel strongly compelled to make the walk from the house to the beach.
The photo I took today, just after the 250th surf and late in the day, captures a lot of why the inclination is still there to carry on with this watery journey: storm brewing, but still relatively calm with just enough warming sun to create a sense of real grandeur.
To be in the water, tossed around on darkening waves when a beam of focused sunlight hits center stage, really does feel miraculous. It is not easy to give up on this.
And why should I? One compelling reason to stop now is that the really cold water starts coming into Storm Bay from the Antarctic in July and August, dropping the temperature to 8C/47F (down from a summer temperature of 20C/70F). Surfing then can become a real act of endurement.
One reason to continue, however, is that by going into the mystery, even if cold, something valuable can be gained. This then becomes an act of endearment, not endurement.
I suppose this is what “tough love”is all about.