Today I am thinking of childhood vacations at Barnegat Light, NJ with Great-Uncle Everett and his family. Why, I do not know. Maybe it is the desire to feel giddy with anticipation while standing with our backs to the surf once again. Yes, I know it sounds crazy. What is so exciting about knowing you are about to be taken under water? There is nothing fun about seawater and sand rushing up your nose as the surf violently rolls you onto the beach. Yet, stand there we did as Great-Uncle Everett encouraged us “don’t look”. Don’t look to see the next wave coming, don’t look to see how big or forceful it is, don’t look. In the not looking, we just trusted, trusted that after each wipeout, he would be there smiling as he grasped our hand as we attempted to ready ourselves for the next breaker. In that grasp was the promise of surprising fun as the seaward pull of water away from the shore carried with it the fear of the next wipeout.
As we stand on the beach of 2013 with the surf of 2014 tickling our feet, do we catch the next wave with excited anticipation or fear the undertow of past failures and defeat?