Staying With It

March 4 -Scarborough Beach
February passed without many Sunday beach walks. We were out of town all or part of many weekends, which disrupted our rituals a bit. Today was a good day to get back in the groove. Sunny and warmish, the breeze was light when we arrived at Scarborough Beach. Here’s a photo:

Two young guys carrying surfboards were on our heels as we trekked from road to beach, wearing hooded drysuits complete with booties, essential gear for winter surfing in the North Atlantic. Somewhere between boyish 20 and settling down 30, they grinned at us as they scooted toward the respectable surf, still agitated by last week’s storms.

When we made the turn after walking south almost to the end of the beach, the surfer dudes were dark specks in the waves. As we strolled back they came into focus: timing the waves, clambering to their feet, riding the crest, falling into the frigid salt water.

Because I’m (1) deep in revision and (2) especially single-minded when I’m deep in revision, I found myself comparing my passion to theirs.

No, winter surfing (hell, summer surfing) is not my thing. But like them, I’m absorbed by something I love. They walk into the icy ocean, climb on their boards and paddle with heart and determination past the break, all to be one with the surf for fifteen seconds (if they’re lucky). Then they do it again.

I sit in front of my laptop for at least two hours a day, wrestling with plot points and uruly sentences, all for the fleeting reward of a well-written paragraph, page, chapter.

Here’s my takeaway. If it matters to you, then it matters to work at it.

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