Consider that waves are a fluid manifestation of the cosmic spiral. Our planet rotates on its axis in space, revolving in orbit around a star, resulting in eternal friction between earth and sky, which produces oceanic swells — progeny of the sway of ether over the earth’s liquid surface. To be attuned to nature in this way — as a wave rider — presupposes presence, spontaneity, patience, and a will to act immediately without hesitation or mistake: like a predator.
On land or in the ocean, the ebb and flow — flux — remains constant, eternal. One adapts to the way of things, gliding from moment to moment. Bill Hamilton (Laird’s father), another big-wave rider in the pantheon, puts it well:
. . . concentrated effort is the glue that holds and directs the instinct
of action. To go beyond the feelings and thoughts of fear, and
project a cool, positive relationship with the forces. To become
the energy of the wave, that’s the main idea. You take when the
water gives, and you give when the water takes. It’s a constant interplay of bold
confrontations and mellow respect. (Surfer Magazine, March 1977)
Here surfing becomes a metaphor for life, a crucible of an eternal cosmic principle. Here and now one is reminded of this existential truth as often as when one is confronted with a glorious, big blue wave.
Huelo Hale, Paumalu 2021