The following is rough, wordy and needs some working on… still, there might be something there for you. As my brother summarised: Get off your deck chairs and start surfing.
One day, I was sitting on a deck chair, looking out over the ocean. From my comfortable seat, I could see a long way out from the shore. I could see the small, gentle waves that lapped against each other, and felt peaceful and content: What a beautiful life.
For some reason, after a time, I stood up from my comfortable position, and walked towards the ocean. As I approached, I noticed that the ocean changed. As I got closer to the shore, it dawned on me that what I thought was the shoreline had deceived me, and instead I was well above the water. As I continued to go closer to the edge, I realised that I was actually at the top of a great cliff. While somewhat frightened by this realisation – realising that I had been deceiving myself for such a long time – I felt drawn to go closer and closer to the edge. Eventually, crawling as a lizard, I was able to look out over the edge of the cliff to see the crashing of the waves below.
I was even more frightened by the sight of the waves – or perhaps I was feeling exhilarated – but I found myself growing curious. Below, people were descending the cliff face. Some were climbing, some were abseiling, others were rapelling, while still others had just jumped off the side of the cliff-face with a parachute strapped to their backs. I couldn’t understand why anybody would leave the comfort of the deck chair to climb down a dangerous cliff – never mind jumping from the edge – to an uncertain world below.
As I spoke, they could not hear me. However, I could hear the conversations of the people with whom I previously sat on the deckchairs. They were talking with each other about how I was wasting my time lizard crawling and that I should just sit back and enjoy the view. Part of me felt drawn back to this world.
Yet, for reasons that I did not understand, I felt drawn to explore further. Finding safety ropes and a harness, I started to abseil down the cliff face. As I disappeared over the edge, my previous friends asked after me, yet somehow they didn’t notice where I had gone – it was as if they couldn’t believe that anything existed beyond their own little world of enjoying the view of the far-off seas that I once had known.
As I descended further and further, a whole new world opened before me. There were people climbing up, others flying past me with and without ropes, and I felt quite confused. Why were these people doing this? Why was I even here? Regardless, this was fun!
Finally, I reached the bottom of the cliff. Around me I saw a bunch of people that I seemed to remember as if they had previously sat with me on the deck chairs. I was able to speak with some of them, yet others appeared to be living on a different plane, and barely registered my existence. It was great talking about the new world that was opening before me – strange and exciting and fun!
Rather than gentle waves lapping each other, we saw huge waves breaking just a little out from the shoreline. You could walk along the waters edge, feeling the sand between your toes, enjoying seeing new things and experience life on a whole new level. As I looked out to the ocean, I could see people riding the waves. Not just watching the waves, not just swimming like we used to do in the pool beside the deck chairs, but catching the waves and riding them.
I noticed that the biggest smiles were from those who would try anything and everything – those people who would ride the waves, even after they’d just been dumped… who would climb back up the cliff face so that they could jump off and parachute back down again, knowing the beach for the first time… those who would then use their parachutes to help them ride the biggest waves, parasailing through the air like birds. Maybe it was scary and seemed a little dangerous, yet I noticed that they never really got hurt – even when the biggest waves crashed, it was as if the God of the ocean protected them wherever they went.
And, as I thought back to life on the deck chairs, it occurred to me that they didn’t even know what they were missing… and that by staying on the deck chairs, they never really came to know who was with them in every moment. Don’t you just love summer?