Paddle Out, Paddle In

You know those times when you want things to happen a certain way and they don't but you end up having a good time anyways? You've gotta really relish those times. They don't happen all that often and they only do when both you and the universe let them happen. And people have a bad habit of disagreeing with the universe all the damn time. Zen shit, right. But it's true.  Anyways, I was having one of those good times anyways. I floated on a borrowed surf board about 500m off Sombrio Beach, looking back towards our camp spot on the beach.

I rested my chin on the old board, line of vision nearly flush with the water. Not a damn swell, let alone any break to interrupt my view. No surfing tonight. That board, along with the wetsuit I was wearing, belonged to the boyfriend of this girl I'd come out to visit, this girl who I'd developed this little crush on, naturally. I've been developing these little crushes all over the place these days. They're friendly crushes and all. You know what I mean. It's this hot summer weather, it makes you go a little girl crazy. It really does. I looked back at camp and paddled further out.

I'd stuffed a few beers into the wetsuit and was having a time out there. I was way further out into the Juan De Fuca Straight than was probably safe and I was free and I was loving it. I was admiring the groves of Bull Kelp, with their perfectly spherical heads bobbing, beckoning. Just a little further. A little further. The sun and a cloud bank were having this race towards the horizon and naturally we were all cheering for the sun. Every now and then it would pull ahead and paint the the whole coast in that warm gold everyone loves. Come on sun. Come on. 

I was just about to paddle in when this seal popped out of the water not even 10 feet from me and gave me a hell of a start. Christ! I fell backwards into the water spilling my beer and realized that I was a little more oiled up than I thought. The board spurted away from me in the fall, shoreward. I swam towards it, realizing how damn far off the coast I actually was. The water was really cold. This is how people disappear. Anyways, I got to the board, gave my head a shake and climbed back on only to realize that old seal was still just floating, watching me like some comic show. Humans, pieces of work, we are. I could see her beady little eyes and I could see her ear holes. She wasn't scared of me one bit and I was in her world and she silently told me it was time for me to head back to the one I thought to be mine.

So I paddled in, and in, and in. When there aren't waves, you've gotta do the pushing. But at the end of the day, it's not work, and I sure as hell wasn't complaining. The sun was now winning that race against the clouds by leaps and bounds, charging towards the horizon. The coast was all yellow and I was all yellow. There were some delicious tacos I needed to eat on the beach, a cool girl whose company enjoyed, and another good pal I'd just made, a friend of hers from high school. I was almost on shore. Sometimes there just isn't any surf. Sometimes, interesting girls just have boyfriends. But most times, it's you who decides whether these are good things or not. And that night, these things were true and these things were good. I picked up the board and stepped on the the rocky beach.