I'm wading out in the cold Pacific; I'm wearing my long wetsuit, only worn once before. It's working perfectly, practically a dry suit. Getting into it was a workout unto itself, but it works, so it's worth it. The sun is low in the sky, and there are only three other people in the water, one of them my next door neighbor, who walked out with me. The waves are much like I like my women, small, fast and perfectly shaped. The tide is shockingly low, too - all the way out to the breakwater and I'm still only hip-deep in the water.
One wave after another comes in, and I catch them. In, wade back out - in, up, and dropping over - wade back out. Today would be the perfect day for a beginner - fast waves that are easy to catch, but shallow water so you can just hop over the ones coming in. Every now and again a really big forceful one comes in - at one point I dropped in on a wave and realized I must have been a good eight feet up out of the water. It's exhilirating.
The sun starts to set. It sketches a perfect golden road leading from me out to the horizon. Many times I've seen the moon carve that path for me out of silver - but today it's molten gold. It really feels like I could just hop up on my board, and then step out on that light and walk up to the sun. A huge pelican flits in, dives at a fish, misses - thrashes around, and flops up and down in the water spastically. It's hilarious to watch, and between that and the sun, I completely fail to pay attention to the big wave that smacks me right in the face, and knocks me heels-over-teakettle on my back into the water. I come up spluttering.
It's a little reminder from Poseidon - when I come to his house, I need to pay attention to him, first and foremost. It's a gentle reminder though, so I laugh, and pat the water. Reach down and try and shake the sea god's hand, let him know I got the message.
Finally the sun has set, and I catch one last wave in. I make my weary way back home. Getting in the shower is a visceral delight - cold sea-water flashed off by the hot shower, the smell of the soap contrasts with the brine so vividly it's like I've never noticed it before.
Outside, right now, as I'm writing this, people are drumming and dancing. On the boardwalk I saw a man standing in a tv-set frame with the glass removed, claiming to be the world's first organic television. Another guy dressed up like a string bean jets by on a skateboard. There are couples, dogs, families, and three beautiful girls skipping and dancing across the beach, reaching up to the sky ecstatically as they take pictures of each other: "we're here, we're here, we're really here!" their antics say.
I'm here. I'm really here!