Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Do you Believe?

On Friday after work I was jumping off some rocks into the ocean at a nearby beach when a 15-year-old from Idaho –let’s just call him Jared- accosted me and offered to show me some more rocks to jump off of nearby that ranged in height from “fifteen to fifty-five feet.” I thought to myself, “how does some kid from Idaho know of good jumping spots that I don’t know about?” but I told Jared to lead on. We scrambled over the cliffs of lava rock scoured clean by pounding waves that hit in the winter and when we arrived Jared turned his back to the ocean, his toes on the edge of the cliff, his heels hanging over, pushed off and executed a perfect back flip into the sea at least forty feet below. I asked Jared who had showed him this spot and he told me that he had scoped it out earlier that day himself. When his attempts to convince his 12-year-old brother to come with him failed he figured he would share his spot with me instead. I climbed down to a somewhat lower ledge and jumped feet first.

After a few jumps Jared explained that he should be heading back to his family at the beach so we scrambled back and I returned to jumping off my regular rock, about ten feet high. Later as I lay on the beach I watched Jared play in the surf with his brother, sister and dad and it seemed to me that they were having an almost unnatural amount of fun. It was as if they had been released from prison and deposited directly on that beach. They played a game in which Jared’s little brother would strike a pose before on oncoming wave, his feet planted in a wide stance, his fist upraised and defiantly proclaim, “I believe!” The wave would immediately knock him over and he would tumble around before taking his stand again. Over and over he repeated this scenario as the sun went down.

Some people around here resent tourists. They drive too slowly. They crowd beaches and roads. They don’t understand local customs but Jared and his family’s enthusiasm was contagious and I was happy to be sharing the beach with them.


At 7/11/2007, Anonymous Me said...

I believe! I believe that I need to learn how to do a backflip off a 40 foot cliff. I believe that I need to move somewhere with 40 foot cliffs (and visit more until I do).


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