The Sound Of Children Laughing At Sunset

An hour before sunset, I found myself paddling to a lineup of children. There was a dozen surfers and all of them were much younger than me. They were on longboards and shortboards, girls and boys no older than 10 years old. I smiled at them, perhaps a little sheepishly, as I watched them perform maneuvers that I could not do.

It was then that I was reminded that surfing was fundamentally play time. Out there, the children played; and they were not hesitant to share the waves. They egged each other on, calling out to whomever was closest to the peak: paddle and take it! it's yours, take it!-- and they laughed when their playmate would get up and get it, their hands thrown up in joy. 

I wonder why grown-ups forget this all too often. I count myself guilty of letting other feelings take over the fun in surfing, as if surfing was something meant to serve me and not the other way around.

In mid-thought, I saw a lump forming in the horizon and it was going toward me. One of the young girls looked at me, smiled and asked: "May I take the left?" I nodded enthusiastically, and we paddled in sync, waiting for the peak to take us, and we got up to the sound of other children cheering, my ego disappearing as we trimmed.