University of California - Santa Barbara
The Surfer and the Seal
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
I stared deep into the dark green eyes of the seal that was lying on my surf board. She looked as if she were trying to tell me something. Her glossy grey coat glowed in the moonlight, and her whiskers twitched in the sea breeze. I could only wonder what she was thinking. Was she confused or just curious? Was this a threat or just a hello? Shocked and confused myself, I couldn’t decide whether to pet or push her. But before I could do either, she gave one big snort and scooted off my board into the sea. I looked around wanting to tell someone of this phenomenon, but I was all alone on this moonlit night.
Sifting my hands through the cold water and the slimy kelp, I paddled out towards the waves that were imploding off Santa Cruz’s Pleasure Point. Every full moon I go night surfing, sometimes with a friend, sometimes by myself. This time I was alone. As I paddled out, I calmly observed my surroundings. Off in the distance, the fog horn resonated in the harbor. To my left, waves smacked up against the rocky cliffs that were covered in muscles. I looked out into the Pacific, watching the reflection of the moonlight bob up and down with the incoming swell. I felt very purified and appreciative. This was my designated time away...
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