Breathing Between the Waves


We strolled the aisles of Whole Foods in Laguna Beach in search of the perfect snacks. Just minutes from resting along the shore, we grabbed a salad, a sandwich, and a bag of cherries to share. As JD guided me down the steep dirt path, the smell of the ocean made me breathe a little deeper. Once the towels spewed themselves on the sand, we opened our lunch. Each cherry tasted a little like sunblock, one of the perils of applying lotion before you eat.

JD dove into the ocean and I read. The usual. Once the heat became unbearable, I followed JD into the ocean and we conquered the waves together. We laughed and joked and made fun of each other. After a while, I became tired and wanted to head back to the shore. I tried with all my might, but I couldn’t beat the strong current. JD yelled from a distance to swim back past the waves’ breaking point, but it was too late. I was caught in the white of the waves.

With each passing wave, I tried to catch my breath, but they came in such rapid succession I couldn’t. I kept on getting tossed even when I tried to dive under them. So I panicked. JD told me to stay calm, but me and Calmness weren’t friends when I was getting pummeled. JD noticed I was in bad shape, so he dove underwater and pushed me up so I could take a couple deep breaths before getting hit again. Even with his help, I just couldn’t see straight.

Out of nowhere, a lifeguard appeared. And then I almost fainted in his arms like he was Fabio on a cover of a romance novel. He wrapped me in a red inner tube and pushed me to shore. I almost died. From EMBARRASSMENT. Once on the shore, JD and I sat on the sand and I layed in his lap. Okay, so I cried a little too.

A few hours later, on our way home, we recounted the day’s events. And laughed. No, we rolled until our stomachs ached. JD made fun of me…I harassed him about the lifeguard stealing his I-Saved-My-Wife thunder…we laughed about the sand in our hair. After a few moments of silence, I realized our reactions to the waves were indicative of our outlooks on life. I was worried about making it to shore, and JD was merely focused on getting through each wave. Breathe in between the waves, he told me at my most panicked state.

Today, I firmly believe that’s a principle for life in general: Don’t worry about making it shore…just be sure to breathe between the waves.