Ajay - Yorba Linda, California
Entered on June 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature, pleasure

The crisp, cold air wraps around my face as I step out of my truck in the empty parking lot. In a moment of bravery, I strip and expose my body to the morning breeze. Goosebumps covering my skin, I scramble to warm myself, finding only a slight comfort in my wetsuit. I pick up my skimboard and walk toward the water. My toes are frozen as the sand crystals push up between them. As I walk, I begin planning a strategy to maneuver through the waves that crash before me. Taking a deep breath, I sprint to the water, throw my board on the wet sand, leap forward to it, and hydroplane toward the crumbling waves. In one swift motion I ride against the white wall until I’m airborne—floating above the water where the sounds of the beach disappear and all I can hear is the pulsing of my heart and the air rushing past me. Within a second, I am on the water riding back to the sand.

The real joy, however, does not come from the triumphs over the waves, but from the moments when I fall, lie on my back with my eyes closed, and feel the rhythm of the ocean water creep up and down my body. I listen to the sound of crashing waves and the resounding symphony of fizzing water. These are the moments when I reflect on what I’ve done, and plan for where I am going. During the week I get caught up in the responsibilities I have given myself. But during my Sunday morning ritual, one that no one knows about, I set aside time to rejuvenate. I open my eyes, refreshed, and rise to my feet. Picking up my board that lies suctioned to the beach floor, I smile knowing the ocean is waiting.