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Life Surfing

Life Surfing by Richard Knouse RScP

Watching the skillful surfer cut across the face of the giant wave, I can’t help but notice that the surfboard lacks a motor. There is no paddle, no steering mechanism, no moving parts. The board passively mediates a continuous dialog between the surfer and the wave. Nothing the surfer does changes the wave in any significant way. As much an artist as an athlete, the surfer finds dynamic balance, adjusting his relationship to the board by subtle increments as the wave whispers to him through his feet. Success is defined by how long and how elegantly he rides the wave, not by how quickly he makes it to shore. In this attempt beauty and efficiency become synonymous.  After this wave is spent there will always be another and another, each uniquely new.

I hope you have enjoyed the poetry. You see, I have never been on a physical surfboard on a physical wave. And yet I have confidence that the laws of nature that govern the behavior of waves can be mastered as an art as well as science. It helps to know that all the power is in the wave, that I am falling through the path of least resistance and that the wave is lifting and rolling as the beach rises.

And so it is with life in general. The waves that carry my experience are not of my own making. I cannot control them, but I can learn to ride them gracefully and enjoy the exhilarating sport of it. Today is a good day. Surf’s up. Care to join me?

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