Monday, August 29, 2005

Back in Session

As I've said before, I used to dread Fall.

That first yellow leaf. The warm air with that slight crisp edge to it. The "Back to School" ads. I fucking hated it - all of it. The very thought of my summer ending and having to drag myself to school for another 9 months was torturous.

But things have changed. I haven't stepped into a classroom in 9 years. And as the school nightmares fade away a bit more every year, I begin to love Fall more and more with each passing summer.

This year, my excitement reached an all-time fervor. Thanks, in large part, to 3+ months of jellyfish, onshore wind, gray skies, tea-colored red tides, tourists, kids, and more flat spells than anyone can remember.

But today was the day. Today was the day we're putting all that behind us. Today, regardless of what the calendar says - or what the handful of grommets who have yet to start school say - today, is the first day of Fall.

Today the sun came up without a cloud in the sky. The air was warm and still. The water was, um...less brown. There were no jellyfish anywhere. The tourists were back on the job site in Riverside. The kids were back in school. And there was a solid swell to kick things off, in the form of crossed-up, head-high peaks.

I surfed for 2 solid hours. I paddled out a sluggish blob on a shortboard and paddled in a finely tuned athlete on a shredstick.

It was re-birth. It was baptismal. It was the end of the longest summer in history and the beginning of Fall. Glorious, wonderful, sweet heavenly Fall.

The Colonel says, "Halle-fucking-luja."