“I steal swiftly from behind the blue horizon, To cast the silver of my foam upon the gold of his sand, And we blend in melted brilliance.”
People are quick to condemn those who crowd the beaches as they re-open, but I understand the lure of the surf. I feel it too, and I’m eager to get back to the surf line once again. But not in the company of hundreds. That’s people watching, not surf meditation. I seek the quiet beach at dawn, when the world is sleeping off the frenzy of the night. The quiet whisper of frothy ocean meeting shifting sand. Of footprints washed away like yesterdays.
“Many times have I danced around mermaids As they rose from the depths And rested upon my crest to watch the stars; Many times have I heard lovers complain of their smallness, And I helped them to sigh.”
I need to wrestle with the surf again soon. To dive into a crashing wave and let it sweep over me to the waiting sands in their infinite dance. To hear again the music of the surf and to dance in the foam and churn of sand and salt water. I was born an amphibian, no matter what the birth certificate noted. I’m closer to the truth between the water and land.
“In the heaviness of night, When all creatures seek the ghost of slumber, I sit up, singing at one time and sighing at another. I am awake always.”
– Khalil Gibran, Song of the Wave
There’s magic in this poem, and I fought the urge to just post the entire work here (Google it and you’ll see a wealth of tributes). Gibran knew the song of the surf too. He grew up in Lebanon, moved to Boston at 12 and skipped back and forth across the ocean during his education. He knew the surf and what was beyond the surf line and over the horizon. He knew the fragility of life at a young age, losing siblings and his mother while he was still a teenager. He died too young at 48 and sailed one last time from New England to Lebanon, where he remains to this day, as he wished. But I wonder if secretly he planned it that way, for one last sail before he was buried. I’d like to think so anyway.