This blue marble

– and yet it spins

Where is the surf?

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How lovely the sun feels on my skin, tortured by the December chills back home. How gorgeously turquoise the water is, and how white and fine the sand on the beach. And how eerily quiet the ocean is: flip-flip-flip little wavelets grace the edge of the dry sand as the tide rises. A thought gently nudges the back of my head until I lift it out into the light: “This is the Atlantic ocean, and Cuba is the next piece of land, far in the distance”, it says. “So where is the surf?”

Indeed. The little timid wavelets do not even pretend to be a surf.  The mighty Atlantic is showing off its force several miles seaward, at the great Florida reef, which stills every swell wishing to pass through. There is no surfing in the Keys because there is no surf. And where there is no surf there are no waves breaking rock into beach sand. Bahia Honda key is the only proper, naturally sandy beach and here I am, smack in the middle of a pocket-size paradise.

The quiet flip-flip-flip calling of the waves is irresistible. I roll up my jeans, never-minding they will get soaked anyway, and wade out thigh-high into the endlessly blue, endlessly shallow, liquid sunlight.

(Florida Keys, USA; December 2013)

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