5’4” Blonde Boardless Bully
The kid couldn’t have been more than 12 years old…I felt like the bully on the playground, but I could NOT help myself…I started along in stride with him as he walked by…
“Iaorana. Um, my name is Liz. I was wondering if I could borrow your board for a couple waves? Maybe just 10 minutes?” I pleaded with him in French. He shook his head and looking at me with surprise. This doesn’t look good, I thought… “Pleeeeeeeease? I promise if anything happens I will fix it or give you another board! And tomorrow I’ll bring you some wax and stickers and a leash!” I begged.
“Stickers?!” He said…“Ok but come with me first. I’ll show you where you can leave the board when you’re finished, because I have to go home for dinner.”
“Really!!? Oh thank you soooooooooo much!” I stripped off my hat and sunnies with glee, while pacing him up the point. A moment later, his grandmother and auntie came out wondering who the heck he’d permit to borrow his shiny red 6’0” thruster!?! I awkwardly introduced myself, explaining in a slur of excitement that I promised to be super careful, that I knew what I was doing, that I would bring it right back. They nodded in bewilderment, then sat down on the logs in their front yard to watch as I scurried awkwardly out over the coral with the kid’s board.
By this time the teens had come down to see the spectacle…random ‘popa’ girl all alone, asking to borrow a surfboard??…I had a feeling it didn’t happen every day around here…
The older local called to a kid getting out of the water to show me how to go out through the coral heads. Once I’d navigated the shallows the kid nodded as if to say ‘all clear’, and I paddled up the point like I’d just made a jailbreak. Right away a wave swung my way, and I dropped in behind the peak, squeaked through a little cover up, and accelerated down the line of warping golds and pinks. Sebastian’s grandmother and aunt erupted in applause and the kids jumped up and down on the beach. I relished 4 or 5 waves in the dying light, then paddled back up for one more. The sun had melted behind a tuft of clouds in the west, and it was already too dark to see where the coral stuck up on the inside. One other kid was still out, sitting slightly farther up the point.
“Look,” he pointed.
Through the palms above where Sebastian still sat with his grandma and auntie, a fat full moon glowed rusty orange and smirked at me like it had known all along. I howled up to the sky…the kid howled too. TOO GOOD!?!! A moment too precious, too perfect! The twist of unexpected generosity made it so heart-warmingly complete!
I caught a last wave, and maneuvered ashore through the coral heads, then slipping and tiptoe-ing my way across the jagged reef to return the board. The kids came and slapped me fives, the older guys threw shakas, and Sebastian’s crew rose to greet me. Sebastian smiled a broad, toothy 12-year old smile, as I handed him back what was certainly his most prized possession.
“You have a very BIG heart,” I told him, thanking him again and promising to return the following day with his goodies…
I peddled home lazily against the wind, smirking back at that sly full moon all the way. Swerving in and out of the cool silver moonbeams, I almost wished the road would never end…
JennaMay 17, 2011
Wowwwwwww =) This sounds AMAZING. What a fantastic experience Liz.
Love your site :)
Jim GoldwagMay 18, 2011
It’s been a while. Great to see you still out there. I thought of you the other day when I saw a gal dive off her sailboat into my home break in Manhattan Beach. I started a site to inspire and motivate people called quotes-motivational.com. Check it out – there are some great quotes there.
You are an inspiration to so many – keep it up!
All the best,
SalMay 21, 2011
Staying very basic: An uncrowded right hander? And nice wetsuit!
Keep enjoying and keep writing.
SaidMay 26, 2011
Lovely post! May you have many more such lovely experiences.
james devlinMay 26, 2011
david millerJune 1, 2011
such a stoke reading this.
Asger KjeldsenJune 10, 2011
Good writing. Inspiring for all, for some, or is it just for me? Anyhow it is good to read so keep it coming, please. :-)
Bill O'HalloranJune 15, 2011
Don’t know how I missed this one. So full of good vibrations, nice way to end my day at work.