A Surf At Sunset

I was anxious to get to the beach. It was only 3:00, but in the dead of winter the sun would be up for just a couple of more hours. After waiting for my best friend for about an hour, I told him I was going to find some waves, so maybe I would see him at the coast. After a little traffic and some beautiful scenery, I run home to grab my board and wetsuit, hop back in the car and drive five more minutes to the beach. I quickly throw on my wetsuit, as it is now 4:30 and there is maybe an hour of light left. I run down to the water with my board, anxious to catch as many waves as I can.

I quickly paddle out and I catch a wave that closes out and I am forced to head towards the beach to avoid the lip. I haven't been surfing a lot, but I fall into a rhythm just like I had been surfing all summer. I catch some rides as the sun begins lower down into the horizon. A lull wipes over the ocean and I look over the beach and coast. The hills are green and lively due to a steady amount of rain, an uncommon thing for southern California. Some christmas lights still shine on houses scattered throughout the canyons. Small black dots of neoprene dot the coast, and as the sun sets and darkness fills the air, the black dots vanish onto the beach and then to the highway, off to nearby homes or a nearby bar.

The sun paints an indescribable mix of orange and red across the sky and water. The moon is directly overhead and shines on the calm water. A group of dolphins breach just outside of me, breaching in pairs. Waves crash on the shore and frogs croak in a nearby creek, the only sounds that echo through the air. I exchange a few words on the surf and beauty of the ocean with a fellow surfer, and catch a wave into the beach, as darkness covers the coast and the lights of Los Angeles flicker in the distance.

As I walk up the beach to my car to head home, I gaze out at the surroundings around me. In that moment, I am completely contempt with life. I feel fresh and renewed, exhilarated with energy and happiness. It is the surf and the ocean where I find solitude and relaxation, a place to escape.


Oliver Ambros