Waiting Out a Lull

Waiting Out a Lull


Surfers, of course, wade out during a lull, possibly thigh-deep, jumping over lines of soup, then, nothing showing on the available horizon, we leap forward and on to our board, paddling like mad for what we hope will be the shoulder of the first wave of the next set.
We’ve all experienced the situation where, just clearing one wave, crashing through the top as it peels over, clearing our eyes, taking a breath, a big open-mouthed breath; we see the next wave, bigger, walled-up, already starting to feather at the top.
Crashing through the curl, the next wave might… worst case, break directly in front of us or, worse…
Paddle. Paddle!
And then there’s the other ‘lull’ experience. No surf. Or minimal surf; so often frustratingly combined with otherwise perfect conditions. Clear, maybe a hint of an offshore breeze, and, even more frustrating as we join others checking-out our favorite spot, we find the lineup empty except for some random seabird floating a bit too casually as the wavelets are beautiful, picking up the reflections of sky and sun, and peeling, perfectly; none to one and glassy.
We look to the horizon, look for a sign, a lost wave from some distant storm, a stray bullet from some open ocean battle, a sneaker set, a rogue wave that just might, even accidentally, roll through those crosshatch areas on the plane before us, those places where some soft squall causes a subtle change on the surface of the glass, something that might be, could be… no, not a wave.
Eventually we look at the other surfers in the vicinity.
Maybe there are stories, biographies even, exchanged. Maybe there’s just a nod, a gesture that says this is a momentary peace.

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