I’m sitting here shivering on a beach near Refugio around sunset ..and wondering why Hurricane Jimena never delivered the 5-foot waves it promised. I’m not terribly disappointed though. I’m OK just sitting here feeling composed. Watching the water. Looking back. I believe that riding waves in my early days instilled confidence that has persisted throughout my life. And transferred to a lot of other things. It’s helped me ride out broken relationships ..negotiate tricky business deals ..and basically overcome a lot of the major fuck-ups of adult life. I’m not saying that I’m a perfect example of a self-assured human being or anything. Far from it. But I do believe that a small measure of mastery early in life goes a long way toward helping people weather storms later in life. For me, I’d say it was summers spent riding waves at sunrise in Newport ..catching the ferry at noon ..riding waves at Laguna until sunset ..then crashing campsites in San Clemente till dawn. It made me realize that waves aren’t just something I ride ..they’re cycles of energy I follow. They pick me up in the morning, heightening my senses ..and hurl me down slopes of fluid exhilaration ..refreshing my mind and deconstructing any networks of negative thought I may have built up since last time. It is most therapeutic. I have a profound reverence for the dynamics of the ocean and, by extension, a high regard for the forces of nature ..the nature of people and, in some small and inexplicably visceral way ..the dynamics of the universe at large. That’s probably saying a lot, I know, but sitting here with my feet buried in the sand and watching sunrays shoot across the water .. I’m not sure I care a whole heck of a lot.