A battle in Wai-ao

We walk up slowly, cautiously, with some intimidation and doubt. The first few steps are cold and we are already getting pushed and pulled in all directions.

I persist.

Continue with small steps and careful planning. The hits keep getting bigger and stronger, the pulling continues in all directions. With every step the pulling and pushing gets stronger. I get tossed around, flipped and dragged without mercy. There are no timeouts here.

I persist.

With time I make it past the first barrier but it’s not long before I realize it’s not that much better here. The ground moves violently underneath me, like a large blue killer whale and I’m the smallest fish in the ocean. At least: a moment of quiet, the calm after a storm, and I have a chance for a few deep breaths. But this doesn’t last long and I should get moving.

I persist.

Back in the whirlpool. There’s no way to avoid it. There is only one way out and that’s straight through it. Dark turns white and I’m sucked into the belly of the vortex. I don’t know which way is up or down, no time for deep breaths, try to stay calm and make it out alive.

I persist.

I feel solid ground on my toes. Hair covers my face as I grasp for air, but only for a split second before being tossed and turned upside down again. It feels like I’m a gazelle and the lion has me in a tight grip, shaking me from side to side; she won’t let go of me.

I persist.

Finally on the other side of the battle, I take a moment to watch the beauty in the aggressive whirlpool. A quick break and I’ll go back in; this time with the water at my waist, I stay in shallow waters. It’s easier here to let go of my fears. I can stand up and catch the smaller waves. After all this is what learning how to surf is all about.

[unfortunately there is no picture for this, so here is a map of the beach in Taiwan where we went surfing. and a reminder of the map page here showing everywhere we’ve been]



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