vacillate (part I)

verbalternate or waver between different opinions or actions; be indecisive

A trip to the beach is always a glorious idea in my mind.  Although I would have preferred the pristine white sands and emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the beach off the coast of Panama (the country that is) was to be our destination.

Emerging from the bus already sticky with humidity, I took in the scene around me: sand almost black, not white; dark gray-blue water, not glistening emerald; deserted stretches of beach, no high rise condos and perfectly coiffed beach houses. But it was the beach, so I put my flip-flops to work and began the hike down to the water. Waves grew, crested and crashed into the beach. Squawking gulls rose from the black sand to dance on the Pacific winds. The sun pressed on my skin, beckoning new freckles to join in on the fun. I breathed deep, letting some of my stress be carried away by the breeze.

The Panamanian waves yelled out to me, “Wanna join our game?” As a child, playing in the waves at the beach was a thrill of mine. Summer days were spent ducking under or jumping over the waves that rushed to meet me. Today, I couldn’t wait to immerse my body in the cool waters and let its liquid fingers bring me back to those carefree days.

Anxiously, I high stepped into the waves, and soon I was waist-deep laughing nervously as I spotted the next swell heading towards me. I ducked quickly, letting the wave crash over me.  Surfacing, I giggled–a little more shocked by the power of the wave than the fun of playing in the water. I trudged out to greet another one. Waves rolled in, I ducked deep, felt the power surge above me, and let the wave drag me back to shore. (A sort of wash, rinse, repeat.)

It wasn’t long before I found myself winded and looking for a moment to rest due to the intensity of the surf, but there was to be no rest. I emerged from one wave only to be instantly bombarded with the next.  This time I rose sputtering with barely enough time to size-up the next enormous wave. No time to duck. Only a hope of jumping over it. My feeble and badly-timed jump was an undershot to say the least. Before I knew it, I was rolling heel over head in a swirling vortex of water power. As my life flashed before my eyes, the wave released me, but not until it body-slammed me into the sand, ripping my flesh like an unblemished piece of sandpaper. Panicked, I fought to my feet and tried to gather my senses. I was 30-feet from my pre-wave location, my hair was matted with black sand, and my back burned mercilessly like scraped knee after a bike wreck! That was it for me; there was no more “play” in these waves. They were picking a fight!

As I hobbled to the shore willing my heart rate to return to normal, I had one thought: “but when you ask, you must believe, and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” I looked up and thought, “You talkin’ to me, God?”  And yes, yes He was… (to be continued)


Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s