Posted by: realifemermaid | April 9, 2012

Hope, Surfing, and Easter

Happy Easter!

Easter was never a huge deal in my family growing up, but for a beach/water/summer loving family, we could always count on Easter as a hope for the beginning of the summer.  It was never a guarantee that summer would be right around the corner…in Maryland that would still be weeks away and usually not ascertained until Memorial Day at the end of May….but hope that, along with the lengthening days and a few less days with a chill in the air, we would soon be transitioning to carefree days spent at outdoor summer swim meets and practices, open water races, and long days at the beach surfing and hanging out with friends.

I think this is why Easter is one of my favorite holidays…just because of the mere thought of hope.  Sometimes I like hope more than certainty.  When you are hopeful, you can still think optimistically, and in your imagination the best circumstances are always going to be true.  That is the general feeling around Easter.

One of my students received her first communion and confirmation this weekend, and invited me to the mass.  A catholic mass at Easter is very long, but it was also beautiful and symbolic.  The first hour was in dark, and then the light came.  Again, the theme of hope.  The parent I was sitting next to, hoping for a bright future for her child, everyone in the church hoping for a brighter year than the one they just had, or perhaps the continuation of the year if it was a good one.

My dad has always said that for him, surfing is religion.  For me, I’d say anything that I get to be in, on, or around the water.  Surfing, however, carries more than other water sports this same element of hope.  A few weeks ago, I got my new, great board.  In this board I instilled so much hope.  I had surfed on one similar to it, and for the first time felt how surfing should really be, and never wanted to go back to my old board. I also had a lot of hope that there would be awesome surf this weekend, and there was…I had three great sessions, and my surf photographer friend even managed to get a picture of my on a head-high wave.

A documentary about the making of Endless Summer really summed it up.  When you surf, no matter what experience level you are, no matter what decade you are surfing in, you are existing in this level of hope.  You live each day hoping for great waves that will lead to an awesome session.  Travel great distances (in the classic documentary, Mike and Robert travel all around the world) to find surf in unexpected places.  Just hoping it will be there.

Sociologists have analyzed religion, and the foundation of it in the historic and modern world lays somewhere between a government organization and a way of giving people hope when times are bad.  That is why the Soviet Union and communist governments worked to abolish religion.  Let the people believe only in them.  Have hope only in them.

Religion, hope, our will to try and do anything…these things are so closely intertwined that they are virtually the same thing.  We live each day on hope.  Easter and other spring holidays are just a revival on hope.

For a pure optimist, that is why Easter is a pretty neat holiday.  An entire day to celebrate the human feeling of hope.



  1. Such beautiful thoughts. When did you get so smart???

  2. Call us when you are on the DE shore so Karlie can surf with you! She just got her new board for her 16th bday!

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