The call of the sea
By James Pribram

December 6 2002

The water was so vibrant -- a faint mixture of blue and green. My every movement reflected below me as my outstretched arms reached past my right shoulder and then my left. With each motion, the water pulled alongside my surfboard.

Time had stopped, and without a whisper of wind, the ocean glistened before me. The ocean was so glassy it was as though I was on top of a huge mirror with my reflection cascading and surrounded in a blur of blue and green. For a moment, I was completely lost in everything. Even in the pelicans that soared above.

I too was soaring, out there alone with no one except for my thoughts. My thoughts that were nothing more than "just how beautiful it was" and how lucky I was to know that "this is who I am and what I live for in my life."

These sporadic moments of joy can only be captured by those who seek them. There are no two people who seek the same path of life, and there is no certainty that the one you chose is the correct one, unless it is the one that follows your heart. In my life, I have followed the path of the ocean.

It is the sound of the breaking wave that I can listen to forever. I never saw the wave, but I can tell you that early on one washed right into my life and into my heart and soul. My relationship with the ocean has become so strong that I refer to the ocean as my best friend, and some may say my demon, as well.

Teacher, mentor and friend the ocean is everything to me. It has given me so much in my life but most of all peace of mind. A sanctuary of sorts, where I truly feel alive and comfortable. Almost like I'm just another wave. I love it and breath it.

It is where my passion for life thrives, for every time I paddle out on that surfboard I can begin to hear my heart beat. Louder and louder it begins, until it is saying, "Listen to me, hear me roar." I am alive and well.


* JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach resident, professional surfer and co-founder of "They Will Surf Again," a nonprofit foundation assisting people with spinal cord injuries. He was also a member of the Water Quality Advisory Committee.