Surfing and the back heel

'This time, stand up even quicker', he tells me. This young  golden-face teaching me to surf. He's bronze dandelion fluff on a board. Okay; stand up faster. Got it.

For the past five and a half decades, 'standing up quicker', I've lived in my feet. Finely articulate, sensate structures, reading the yoga mat, or the dance floor. Agile,  responsive. On steady, stable ground, that is.


Except. Now, said ground is moving. And it's not even 'solid'. Liquid green clarity-to-the-bottom swooshes by, underneath my Whoops.  But; I can feel my feet! 'Feel your back foot', the older teacher impresses on me, back up on the grass slope before we got in the drink. 'Feel its placement and position'.

'Mate! I've got this! I'm all over it!!' I think. 'Press into the back heel', being the yoga mantra that rang in my ears. Years and years of pressin' into that bloody back heel on my mat - to track into my leg, hip, pelvis and spine!

'Jump on! Paddle! 1-2-3-4.GO!!!'

I'm focused. Every molecule of me attenuated.  Left knee under left hip, right foot forward, let go the grip of hands-to board, and RISE as the back foot finds its place. Reading the shifting terrain of water and board. I'm floating. Shooting. Sensate feet catching and reading  the traces of gush passing underneath.