I once met a man who inspired me greatly. At his encouragement, I went on to accomplish all manner of things in the ocean. Of course it was not by his urging alone, but for some reason, he was my catalyst, and the reaction which occurred as a result of his input, wed my life to the sea.
Many years later, as I sat with a writer pal of mine at the man’s home on the sand near Santa Barbara, he recounted his life before the Multiple Sclerosis morphed him into a creature who could do no exploits. “I lived my entire life in the span of 8 years” he had said. He did grand and wonderful things at the helm of a dory, a sailboat, paddleboard, and on a surfboard. He lived his ocean experience in a time when the grand and golden California burgeoned and beckoned to the world at large with a pristine ocean, replete with salty, gusto laden vitality.
As I knelt down, and apologized for my lens which set dead square upon him for a memorial portrait, he looked me straight in the eye and said: “Don’t you just love the feel of that cool crisp water, as it envelopes you?”
And at that point I “got it”.
What a gift.
Mason Van Valin says it well with Ghost Love