Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On a still morning in late September, in a lull between cold fronts, Loonie and I pedalled with our boards to the point, where the waves were small and clean and the cold water was as clear as the sky. We sat inside at the mellow edge of the rip and paddled into waist-high rollers that carried us hotting and howling in to the beach.We had the place to ourselves. The sandbanks rippled underfoot, schools of herring swerved and morphed as one in the channel and across the bay the breaths of breaching dolphins hung in the air. I will always remember my first wave that morning. The smells of paraffin wax and brine and peppy scrub. The way the swell rose beneath me like a body drawing in air. How the wave drew me forward and I sprang to my feet, skating with the wind of momentum in my ears. I leant across the wall of upstanding water and the board came with me as though it was part of my body and mind. The blur of spray. The billion shards of light. I remember the solitary watching figure on the beach and the flash of Loonie's smile as I flew by; I was intoxicated. And though I've lived to be an old man with my own share of happiness for all the mess I made, I still judge every joyous moment, every victory and revelation against those few moments of living. Tim Winton, Breath.

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