The Wave That Slams
I have learned to kiss the wave that slams me into the Rock of Ages. – Charles Spurgeon
When I was in Hawaii, my friends and I had a beach across the street from our guest cottage, and Kaneohe Bay in our backyard. Many times a day, alone or together, we’d patter down the steps from the back deck and into the rocky tide pools behind the house. As a tropical Atlantic girl, I was endlessly fascinated by the giant lava rocks. I did the Ariel “part of your woooorld” pose more than just the one time for a picture, because it was fun. I kept swimming around the rocks, climbing onto and over them like a kid, looking for the best places to sit and look out to sea without getting concussed.
On one of our last afternoons, I decided to venture out to the furthest rock point accessible from our house. I knew the waves would be rougher out there, but the challenge made it more appealing. YEAR OF ALIVE!!! Sure enough, the water’s force as it crashed through the rocks was unsettling even for an ocean veteran. But I found a good place to stand and hang on. In some unexplainable way, I wanted to contend with the waves and experience their might. I wanted salt spray in my face and wind in my hair. I needed to feel small and brave at the same time, to be enveloped by something much more powerful than myself, but to be part of it nonetheless.
After a while I started my descent back into the water, congratulating myself on completing the adventure injury-free. That’s when an enormous wave took my feet out from under me and scraped my legs across a rock. I had no defense against it, no control over my own body aside from hanging on. Realizing that this could have been bad, I thought, Okay, ocean. You win. Good game. I went back to the house bleeding but weirdly exultant.
Last week, applying lotion to my now winter-dry legs, I was surprised to notice pink lines standing out on my calf from my game of chicken with the ocean. Huh, I thought. If I’d thought I’d still have scars from that almost three months later, maybe I wouldn’t have done it.
Except I totally would have.
About Brenda W.Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
Posted in reflections