Check, check, and check.
I'm ready to surf.
The waves try to scare me.
They rise up to my shoulders' hight and crash back down.
They roar and spit white foam.
They crash and charge.
I admit to being frightened of their power.
The water pushes me back to the shore,
as if saying, "Go back, go back!"
I brace myself against their pleads,
and push a little further out.
Where the waves are not broken
I can stand and bob to their beat.
I pull myself up onto the board and watch.
There is the monster. It rises above me.
It hisses in my ear, looks me in the eye.
I turn toward the shore and hold my breath.
The beast picks me up gently,
Its roar becomes a purr.
I push down on the board and lean back.
On my knees, I ride this beast.
It does not dare throw me.
Not until we reach the shore.
Then, it bucks.
The beast stops suddenly,
and I'm thrown onto the sand.
Shells and rocks cut my hands and face.
The waves lick me over and over,
As if wanting to apologize for hurting me.
But it's not helping.
The ocean is very strong,
and its caresses knock me over again and again.
But I've learned how to ride this creature,
If not for a few seconds.
I can work with it.
But I cannot get it to work with me.
The ocean is not a creature.
It cannot be held or tamed.
It does what it wants.
You cannot conform it to your will.
You can ride it only when it decides it does not want to kill you.
If you try to mount the crest it will throw you off.
If you try to run the trough will swallow you up.
If you are not careful,
The waves you so wonderfully rode will turn on you.
They will buck and rear.
They will take you under,
Beat you on the ocean floor.
And it will not feel regret.
It will not care if you have to drag yourself back onto the shore.
It will not care if someone else has to.
It does not care if it hurts you.
It does not care.
The ocean is a beast.
You can work with it,
Or you can try to tame it.
But there is only one way
To ride it.