Aged twelve, on another beach, body surfing on the residue of some distant storm. A wave begins to swell and move swiftly towards the shore. I sense it will break just after it reaches me. As I feel the water begin to lift me, I launch myself. But, starting too soon and swimming too weakly for this particular wave, I feel myself tipped forward and dumped headlong into the water. A quick breath before submerging, I bounce on the sandy bottom only to be rolled over and over. Eyes wide open, I relax and see the frothy surface many feet above me and the sun shining through the water. I feel calm, enjoying the tremendous strength of the wave buffeting me. I know it will move on. Pushing to the surface, I gasp for breath and see its frothy peak speeding away to waste itself on the distant beach. I turn to find the next wave almost on me. A deep breath and a dive, dolphin-like, beneath it. Meeting its energy head on, my body is buffeted again, but this time I am in charge and it washes swiftly over me, leaving me to resurface and prepare to surf again. Have I mastered the sea in those years? No, only myself in this one situation. To the sea I will always be insignificant – just flotsam and jetsam. As years go by, I will learn different ways of relating to it, but the sea is the sea . . . is the sea . . . is the sea . . . is the sea . . .