Blustery Lines and Beauty in Austerity

The water is still under 8°C. The wind was up and a good swell - better than forecast - was lining up yesterday. I had a great surf. Took a thruster out and fell into a few good, curling, frosty and mildly unfriendly peaks.

There were only a handful of us out. I took this photograph: not too crowded! Sometimes I feel aggrieved at surfing where I do, in comparison with California, Australia, South America... etc. But yesterday I revelled in the conditions. Once you get used to the cold it doesn't hold the oppresive power that it does at the beginning. I have friends who won't surf through winter. They miss days like yesterday. I don't get it. Once you learn to revel in the sort of funky conditions the joy of not paddling into each wave with about seven other surfers is fantastic. There is basically a beauty in this austerity: an aesthetic in which to languish. I'm loving that rough groomed look on the faces, the spray off the top, off-the-cuff rainbows, chinks, glimpses and sudden dramas. This pleasure is certainly unfolding for me as my ability improves, but, at the same time I guess it's just reward for consistent treasure seeking.

Synonyms of austere: exacting, forbidding, grave, grim, rigorous, serious, sober solemn, stringent.
Antonyms: bland, calm, gentle, meek, mild.

Rubber up, get in, stop whinging...


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