Thursday, July 26, 2007

Style Lessons: Harmony & Ageless Grace on the Water

Living at the beach I am exposed to all types of fashions, fads, personalities, or put simply a wide range of style. Essentially each diverse note celebrates the concept of youth. Beach culture, especially surfing, embodies (and aggressively markets) the "coolness" or style of perpetual youth. Are you familiar with the movie title, "Endless Summer"?

One recent evening demonstrated to me more than any marketing image the essence of "man's eternal noon." After catching a fun wave to the shore and turning to paddle back out to where the waves begin to peak; I noticed out of the corner of my eye a surfer riding a wave towards me in a classic soul arch stance. My first thought was, "How cool was that!?" It was done in a manner that was graceful yet subtle; in a way that I am not used to seeing. Upon a second and a third glance I realized it was one of surfing's legends -- Skip Frye. A man who on land might seem unassuming but in a crowded beach line-up certainly stands out. It was my first time witnessing him surf, despite hearing much of his ability.

My curiosity sparked, I jumped out of the water and ran up the bluff above the beach to witness an impromptu clinic on style. To describe how this man rode each wave to the beach, changing direction, walking to the nose of his board and back -- I would have to use words like smooth, confident, graceful, efficient, nimble, respectful, and balanced. These words describe one who not only caught more waves than anyone else out there, but one who is in his mid-sixties.

As I watched, words from the previous Christian Science weekly Bible Lesson filled my thought... "Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness." 1 "The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul..." 2 "Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom. Immortal Mind feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought and destroying the woes of sense which each day brings to a nearer tomb."3

This gentleman was demonstrating anything but age, decay, or weakness. Towards the end of this two hour session, as the sun was sinking into the Pacific blue horizon. I realized another for man's eternal noon. "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."4

1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 246:25
2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 247:31
3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 248:5
4 The Bible, Philippians 4:8

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