Lise’s Crazy Day in the Sun

15 Aug

If you grow up in San Diego as I did, beach culture becomes part of your lifestyle. For me, jelly fish and Mr. Bubble were synonymous. When I inadvertently stepped on one (a jelly fish) as a toddler, I ran screaming to my mother that “Mr. Bubble bit me.” My mom didn’t have a clue what I was talking about until I dragged her to the scene of the crime. (The jelly fish was half dead, washed up on the shore but alive enough to get me). Days were spent playing in the waves and and I remember a sweet sixteen party where we all arrived at La Jolla shores in a hired yellow school bus.

In that environment, surfers were part of the landscape. As a UCSD student, I used to walk down with them every morning to Blacks Beach to run while they paddled out but it never dawned on me to try their sport. In my day, little girls didn’t enroll in surf camps. My dad taught me to body surf and bought me a boogie board but like an indoor cat, this was the extent of my territory.

But now I have a pastor whose every sermon references surfing and neighbors who hang their wet suits on my patio. Plus whenever I walk on the beach, I now see little kids in mini wet suits. It’s like standing and watching everyone dance or ice skate when you’re dying to join in too. It’s like being a teenager where everyone is talking about sex and you don’t have a clue. 

So I enrolled in two classes at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center to get my feet wet – no pun attended. What a HOOT! I knew it was going to be fun when I laid eyes on my very cute instructor who also turned out to be sweet and smart, although younger than me. My other classmate was a fourteen year old kid from Maine. (Thankfully, I was only old enough to be his mother and not my instructors’). We sat and learned about currents and tides, swells and breaks. And then we got into the bay for a swim test and some basic instruction before crossing over to Mission beach. 

What a HOOT! I couldn’t stop laughing every time I fell off my board. I suck at it. But it was absolutely delightful. I think tomorrow will prove more successful because we’ll be out there for two and a half hours but who cares?! With a wet suit the water isn’t cold and my God, I felt like I was five years old again. It was such a beautiful riot. The most absurd delight. 

I have no idea where I’ll go with this after tomorrow. I think if I made this a part of my regular life I’d never get anything done. I just want to curl up for a nap now and do nothing. I’m that relaxed. That tickled. I feel like a child again.

Here’s to the Church of the Pacific! I think God is raising Lise from the dead and helping her reconnect with the world again.

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2 Responses to “Lise’s Crazy Day in the Sun”

  1. Brenda August 18, 2009 at 4:48 am #

    Good for you! I’m so happy to hear you had a blast!

    I grew up in O.C. about a 30 min. drive inland from Huntington Beach. My best friend and I started surfing when we were 17. Sometimes I would go all by myself at 5:30am on a gray, cold, winter day, dragging my huge, heavy surfboard across the sand. I wouldn’t go out exactly where the other surfers were because I didn’t want to get in their way. That meant that I was in a spot where the waves weren’t really breaking well. I sucked at it too, but it was so fun that I kept it up for several years. Never got good and eventually realized it just wasn’t my thing.

    It is exciting to try new adventures, isn’t it? Surf’s Up!

  2. lisesletters August 18, 2009 at 5:33 am #

    Brenda – I love your response. I think you and I were on a similar path at 17. Although I wasn’t on a board, I loved going down to the beach at the crack of dawn. My dad did too; perhaps I learned that sense of reverence from him.

    It is good to try new things. I’m still digesting the experience. The second day I was out too long and got a little sun drained. I won’t do that again. But there was a magical moment where we moved away from the white foam they were teaching us on and we paddled out to the bigger waves. I remember sitting up on my board like it was a horse and just feeling this sense of peace and play. (Then I started to shiver from the wind, even in my wet suit!) I think that moment is embedded in my psyche because I keep coming back to it and the rocking lull of the waves. I have a chance to go out again with my neighbor on Wednesday before work – wondering if it is overkill – already catching a cold – or God saying, “Live a little.”

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