Why You Can’t Go Home Again (But Don’t Need To)
Home. We all know the meaning. But what does it really mean? To me, growing up in a nomadic Navy family with 21 different houses, home was where my mother made it. But when I left for college, I sought a new home, one of my own. But it eluded me until I had my…
What is a Surfer?
What is a surfer? The answer varies, depending on your perspective. Here’s mine. To some it is an art, a sport, a religion, a profession, an addiction, something you do on vacation. Maybe it;s the biggest thing in your life, maybe it’s your entire life, or just an occasional joy.
Skipper: Stories of my Grandfather
Sydney Nelson Patton (1882-1976) was born into the world of another era. During his life he arguably witnessed the greatest change of any generation: when he was young he rode horses, trains and read by candles but during his life he saw the advent of electricity, radio, cars, airplanes, TV and he watched men walk…
What if Life Chooses you?
I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. — Forrest Gump What if we have it all wrong? What if instead of living our lives through our…
The Elephant Seals of Año Nuevo
The year was 1987 and I was searching for a place where black abalone were largely undisturbed so I could complete my dissertation. The island was the perfect location: isolated, difficult to access, federally protected, and surrounded by seal- and shark- infested waters. During my first low tide on the island I was ecstatic: blacks…
The Call of Nature and the Renewal of the Nature Fast
Hiking into the Washington Cascades. 2006. “To perceive the true nature of existence was one reason for the performing a vision quest; after four days of fasting alone in a high rock, in the great silence and solitude of earth, one is bound to discover that what was thought of as a separate self is…
Caught Inside: Surfing Nightmares and the Legend of Dickie Cross
A dream: I am standing on a rocky jetty staring out at the ocean as the sun starts to slide below the water. A large storm is approaching but it is warm and a gentle breeze caresses my body. The waves are huge and rolling in with tremendous power between the two breakwaters jutting out…
Following the Dream: finding that “Rudy” Moment
My parents taught me that nothing worthwhile in life comes easy; that it was important to chase your dreams, think big, and make a difference in the world. Yet the concept of achieving one’s dreams is tied up in so many metaphors these days how do you know when you have actually done it?