Have you been to the ocean?
I went to the ocean when I was little, to South Padre Island with my family.
I discovered that I liked very much to lay right at the spot where the Gulf breakers crashed into the beach.
I liked the wild sensation of being bounced around by something so powerful but so benign, like a big dumb dog.
I liked the taste of the salt water. I liked the thunderous sound, like riding inside of an explosion.
And at the height of the weightless, disorienting feeling I closed my eyes and imagined I was spinning far away in outer space.
But my favorite part was the process of the wave receding back to the ocean.
Just after the moment when the wave had stretched itself as far onto the beach as its brief journey could achieve, when the water had reached an equilibrium of movement, an apex of motion, I felt, with a strange mixture of my senses, as scantly perceptible as a mote in my periphery, the barest, most gentle tug.
It felt like little more than a suggestion of direction.
Then in a breath the tug was a pull and the pull was a torrent that rushed around me and surged back into the growing form of the next breaker.
My favorite moment of all was the millisecond when all the water had rushed away. I lay watching on dry sand as the next wave curled over me to its full foamy height.
I loved most of all that final moment before the wave crashed down over me, when the unbearable anticipation I felt seemed to slow down my perception of time itself. The wave appeared frozen at its pinnacle, frozen in place by my excited expectation of its crash.
The cycle repeated over and over, to my unending delight, each time beginning again with that slightest, most gentle tug.
And I can feel that tug right now.
The water around me is pulling away toward a wave.
The wave is bigger than any I have ever imagined.
And my excited anticipation of it its crash slows the wave as it grows.
It stands frozen before me.
In a blink, it will teeter and crash upon me and I will be flung into joyful chaos and swept away to be remade by events beyond my understanding and only barely under my control.
I love most of all this final moment before the wave thunders down around me.
What may come after is only the ocean's to know.