You know it’s happened before it actually has, the tightening of your stomach the starkest and most sickening of warnings. As your mind catches up with your body, it is already too late to repair the damage, for the error has occurred and the point-of-no-return a forgotten memory. Denying acceptance, you move your feet with dance-like motion, adjusting your stance to better balance yourself on the gliding platform. But as you look down at what is about to meet you, the senses numb and the will collapses. The soul sinks and your heart slows; you know you must enjoy this moment, for what is about to happen will wipe it from memory, forever to be lost in the depths of the ocean.
You plunge into the hardened water, pulses of pain shock their way through your body. The silence is beautiful and if it wasn’t for the limitations now placed on the very life you were trying to enjoy, paradise could be summed up by the environment you now find yourself in. As you try to orientate yourself, thrashing your arms and kicking your legs, you feel the one comfort you have; the leash. Attached at one end to your ankle, you hope the other is still connected with your board. The mind figures out which way to go, and uncontrollably you begin to propel yourself through the thickening wall of water.
With every two or three kicks of the legs, the sense of progress is met with morale-sapping heartache and anguish. The leash is being pulled as the board is washed ever further away from you, desperate to prevent you from reaching the safety of it’s buoyancy. It isn’t your faithful friend’s fault though, for the blame lies with force you challenged and tried to conquer. And as you near the surface, felt by the thinning of the water, added blows from all regions knock the spirit from your soul. As waves crash and currents rip, your body becomes the doll in the mouth of a raging dog.
Each time your lips emerge from the darkness, a gasp of air is taken before you are sucked down again, seemingly forever to be embroiled in the war of energy. The peaceful silence has dissipated; the ear-shattering rage from the battleground above pummels your mind and steals your thoughts.
After a minute or two of fighting with all your might, giving as best you can against the mighty warrior, you sight your board as it arcs around you; out of reach, but never out of mind. A new goal is decided upon, but not by you, for instinct took over your body a long time ago. The attention of the life-support becomes the aim and the beaten corpse of your weary body summons the energy from the depths within. With a new sense of purpose the pain erodes away; no longer are you a mannequin at mercy to only the sea.
The rhythmic tug of the leg stirs you around to the world of the conscious. You are face down. You are wet. You are cold. The shattered spirit only able to deduce the simplest of reasoning’s, the realisation that the pulling of the ankle is your board, still trapped by the forces it was designed to prevent. Only the forces have lessened, for terrafirma is your new environment. And with each crashing wave on the shore line, the energy to heal increases.
As you turn your crushed body over and sit up to admire the victor of the battle, a small lift of a cheek offers respect and understanding. The ocean has no prejudice, it bears no grudge. If it did, you wouldn’t already be paddling out again.