Beautiful Horizons

Words by John Angiulo, photos by Mark Richardson (above) and  Erik Schwab

Food. Housing. Transportation. Recreation. Taxes. Bills. Money. These life accessories have a tendency to band together and mount up with distressing frequency. Just as we think we are getting ahead the house needs repairs. The car falls the pieces. The kids need to go to the doctor. You owe taxes. Your job doesn’t quite give you the income your need or deserve.

In the eyes of a practical person these hurtles define life and are the bricks by which human existence is built on and consists of. Some think there is nothing outside the bounds of these paradigms. They believe that from dawn till dusk in each of our respective lives we can expect little else but these challenges. And true, they are challenges and they do exist. However, we must be reminded there is so much more out there and that it is for all of us. I was reminded of this by a rendezvous with beauty on the horizons.

At a fairly secret gem on Long Island the waves wrapped around a head land and produced perfectly drawn lines that stretched out for hundreds of yards. Out surfing were my closest friends, intermingling with other members of our little microcosmic surf community. We traded off waves in that classic manner in which each person display their unique brand of aqua-athletic art.

One friend on a finless foamie sideslips with the grace, ease and laughable joy of penguin ice luging on its belly. Another friend rides a mid-length and draws dramatic lines, stringing together wrapping cutbacks and vertical lips assaults. Another friend walks the plank, dancing from end to end of her old school log. A pair share a wave, doing go behinds with the synchronicity and ease of dance partners. Another wields a glider and caresses the water’s surface with effortless joy as he takes one wave after another out of sight to the west.

image1 John with a cheater five. Photo: Schwab

Then, as my eyes absent mindedly followed the lengthy ride of one of my brethren, the sun began its descent to the West. The light in the wispy clouds bent and warped until green, red and orange filled the sky and waters. I stared in slack jawed awe. That would have been enough but the world, in its never ending grandeur, was not finished.

When I turned to the east a full moon was rising at the exact moment the sun was setting. It was gigantic sitting there on the edge of earth and space, glowing a pale, lustrous pink. I sat in the water with some of my best friends on earth suspended between two orbs of light that encircled us and created the balance of life that we know and depend on. The air was still, the smiles were wide, the minds were clear and the hearts seemed filled.

This story is a reminder that, though there are challenges and pains that accompany every life, there is a never ending store of magic and wonder in this universe that awaits everyone willing to put themselves in the place and time to experience it.

Yes, in many ways, times are tough. They are also exciting and on the horizons I see and I feel an immense beauty awaiting all of us. Look for it in your heart. Search for it for it in nature. Find it in your life. Then, the challenges and duties of our days are simply the price of admission to a realm of wonder we all hope to be real and that I have seen with my own eyes.