I've never thought of myself as being a slave to routine. At 68, my life has never been routine except for two things. These two elements of my life are my greatest joys. I'm semi- retired from my first love. Photography has been a true staple but my second great love and routine is surfing.
I think you can see from my expression that just being at my favorite break infuses joy into my system. All I have to do is get to the water's edge and a perpetual smile finds it's way to my face. We all have those specific activities that create that effect for us. Surfing became my second joy inducing routine when I turned 52. Now one of the first things I do after waking is check the surf report. Yeah, yeah, I'm a little obsessed I know but when something provides the kind of joy that surfing does for me it's hard not to be a little obsessed.
Days are tough now. The stay at home routine has been difficult and a bit depressing to be honest. The good thing about being at home so much it's given me the chance to go back through some of the pictures I've taken at my favorite break and in some way this has buoyed up my state of mind. The great thing about pictures is they conjure up such great memories. It's made me realize how many great friendships have been generated through my pursuit of surfing. It also reminds me why I enjoy this sport so much.
The best part of life in the water is it can be a family bonding affair. The joy here is palpable. A great bond between father and daughter will grow and deepen because of events like this. Seeing these images just re-enforces my excitement to be able to revisit the break. The one thing that came screaming into my head 2 days ago. During my photographic career I was put into some pretty dicey situations. Some of which put me in line of fire in battle zones. I was younger then but I remember never being as concerned going into those situations as I am in this situation. It's very strange. This invisible danger is so much more insidious. than a visible threat. I think that's why this Corona Virus threat has been so stressful for so many. Covid-19 is a grave threat to everyone and here in California it has been taken as such. Californians have done a very good job of staying at home and isolating the virus from spread. We have to continue to do those things. Not just for ourselves but for the ones we love. Staying away from the the things we enjoy and so appreciate, will be effective in the long run, to keep our families and friends safe. Because of these kinds of efforts we will get back to the activities we miss so terribly at the moment.
I so anxious to get back in the water with my buddy Dana (above) and working at making that section as the crown of that wave comes over into the path of travel. The thrill of that moment is one part of this activity that is so challenging and exciting. That's the kind of thing that stays with you the rest of the day. Surfing is like life. It's the small exciting successes that make the adventure worthwhile.
One of my great joys at the break is seeing so many great surfers practicing their craft. There are so many great surfers here and one of the best in the water is the young woman (below) Lindsay Steinreide. She is a former world champion long board surfer. Watching her is like watch a finely tuned dance. Her style in the water is artistic, rhythmic, execution turns and runs that make this very challenging sport look easy.
In thinking about not being able to get to the beach to surf I realized that the pictures in my head are what is adding to the longing for a return to those activities. I clearly miss those late afternoons when the sun is going down and after having had a terrific session, I see these aesthetic moments that are etched into my mind.
What brings great joy and a fabulous sense of anticipation is knowing that if we continue to socially distance and stay at home we will get the chance to be back at our favorite places taking part in our favorite activities. So, in the midst of this very stressful and life changing Corona Virus challenge just know that if we continue to do what we all know we need to do, we will be back to the places and people we love.
Socially Distance! Stay Home! Wash Your Hands Often! Carry your hand sanitizer everywhere you go. If we do these things we will be safely back to the things we love. I look forward to seeing your smiling faces when we are all safe again.