My board sinks just below the surface of the water as I sit tall peering out into the horizon. Fellow surfers are spread up and down the coastline looking into the same skyline. I look north then south and notice something in particular, not many are chatting. There is no gossip. Everyone simply sits, waiting for a peak of blue to jump into the beam of horizontal space. Occasionally there will be a hoot here, a holler there, or a little conflict over who’s wave is who’s, but in general it’s silent. And even when those bursts of auditory sounds are expressed, they are in present moment enthusiasm, then quickly settle back into the silent humm.
It’s a beautiful silence I hear while I’m floating, a rare sound compared to our hustle and bustle society. Due to the infrequency of it, the sound itself morphs into a full experience. It’s a sound that is as clear as a morning dewdrop and as pure as freshly fallen snow, you sit and admire it, but you know it won’t last. It’s one that reminds me to pause, to take a breath in and actually feel my lungs expand. It’s one that knocks me back into balance, back into me.
And out there, out there in the water, this sound is fully and completely accepted. It’s not considered weird, arrogant, or standoffish. It’s not shunned, in fact it’s part of the surfing culture, it’s part of the way of the water. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I yearn for the ocean, for the normalcy of present moment silence.