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Banbury Cross

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Post details: A Pat on the Back

A Pat on the Back

When I was a kid, I wanted to swim in the Pacific Ocean. In the ocean that was farthest away from my homeland and that harbored the three true masterpieces of tropical islandry: Hawaii, Tahiti and Easter Island. But whenever I visit the West Coast, I realize that unlike its Atlantic counterpart this ocean is surprisingly immune to the epidemic of global warming. And since I am deeply distrustful of any body of water under 75F that poses an obvious problem.

Still, any time I visit California, I give it a try. This time around I visited a beach on the Coronado Island. There were some surfers in the water plus a bunch of crazy kids who apparently haven't been taught yet that cold water is cool only in the bottled form. I entered the chilly blue wetness with fairly good resolve, but when the water reached my knees it was as clear as the sky that today's mission would be heavily underaccomplished.

More by inertia than determination I went few more yards away from the land and turned around. But just as I did so, a huge and rather churlish wave sneaked up on me and slapped my back so hard that I lost my balance and darted into the ocean. Being utterly afloat, I started plying my strokes.

Thus I finally learned how it feels to swim in the Pacific ocean. And had I been a better apprentice, I could have made it to Hawaii, Tahiti or Easter Island. Life is such a kind teacher though. All you have to do is show up for classes. And if you lose your heart in the last moment - it always finds a way to give you a hearty pat on the back. Frankly, every now and then we need one. But we have to be at the right spot for that pat to work.

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