I wake at 4.15am and slip a 9 foot board, my wetsuit and my vulnerability into the car. My cat sits on the porch in the dark refusing to go back inside to eat her breakfast. We argue. I loose.
I drive in the dark, unable to read the landscape, the usual features that allow me to clock distance travelled. I flinch when I see, maybe, maybe not, a camera flash from on overhead bridge. For a moment I dread the next fine.
I reach my favourite point break by 6.45am, the sun not yet risen. I am one of five who have arrived before the opportune low tide. I will soon be one of fifty jostling for waves, watching bodies and boards paddle, skim, drop and dance, finding myself further and further away from the point, picking up waves that others, more experienced than myself, have left untouched.
I do this for the moment when it feels as though God has slipped into the glove of my body. I do this because it scares me, always has done, and I will not shy away from it. I do this because, when I'm not riddled with uncertainty, there are the times where, perched on the lip of a wave, my doubt in its wake, I feel like I am flying.