We’ve been at a place the last few days where the riptide is so strong that they don’t let you swim in the waters. You can look, but you can’t touch.

Having not grown up on the water, the times I do get to spend on a beach always grab me. But maybe it’s like this even for those who see it every day. I’d believe it.

Yesterday we took a long walk along the shore, where the strong currents kept altering the lines we weren’t allowed to cross. The waves were mesmerizing, crashing as often as they’d soar, or in quieter moments spill, not flow. A surprise splinter here, an unexpected rush there. With so much going on under the surface, hidden from sight and logical only in retrospect, trying to predict behavior, and outcomes, was a foolish waste of thought. Better to just experience it, unburdened by expectations.

Sometimes the waters swell and gather so perfectly that you just know they’re about to kick up into one force that will run over everything in its way, pouncing on the sand with more strength and greater depth than any you’ve seen all day.

But then some single-minded undertow, unforeseeable and unwelcome, cripples its momentum, if not grinding it to a sad halt. Didn’t see that coming.

There’s so much life in this, so much organic life, yet in watching the waves do their thing you come to a realization that there’s no easily measurable progress being made. All that greatness, yet all that nothingness. Even the mightiest swells instantly recede, and yet the most pitiful sputtering of water refuses to give up.

Objectively the experience of the waves encroaching on the shore shouldn’t be as exhilarating as it is, with the sounds and the colors and the smells, but even to a casual, infrequent visitor like I am, it’s an adrenaline injection that engulfs me, that stamps out everyday stress and makes me feel, all at once, at peace and in luck, and totally alive.

Fortunately for you I’m not so cheap and sappy that I’d ever try to draw a parallel between all the above and a baseball season.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at

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