I took my first surf lesson this morning after Todd left me his long board. Last week for the first time I donned a wetsuit and began splashing around in the 53 degree Pacific near my home. I had never gone before, something about the cold, not being a great swimmer, all the pro looking surfers around . . .
But somehow after spilling some of Todd’s ashes into the ocean last week, it seemed fitting to get in there with him. And I saw him.
There in the sparkling water, the billion beads of foamy white bubbles around me, the sunlight glinting, I could sense his oblivion, his part of oblivion. Where do we go when our body turns to ashes? And something else: he had always been my buffer between the outgoing outrageous outdoors. I had a brother who was surf kayaking, surfing, boogie boarding, scuba diving, so in some way, I didn’t need to. He was always there ahead of me, urging me to come along, buying the gear, lots of gear, sometimes not the right gear, leftover gear, offering me gear, taking back the gear he’d given me, giving me new gear, frustrated for overspending on gear, not sure if he had the right gear. It kind of bugged me. Sometimes I felt like, ‘just get in there and do it, who cares if you have the right gear!’ But now he’s not out there in front of me, or urging me to tag along.
So I’m going in by myself. And taking Bodhi, Mia and anyone else who wants to join me. Let me know if you’re down this way and want to go.