Family, Friends, and a Pro at Popoyo…

This past week was one of reconnections and surprises.
Our son Bill was down for a visit from Santa Monica with his friend Chelsey and her mother Ginger. It is always so good to see him. We got to surf, yent, laugh, and he beat me up pretty good in front of my boxing class. Bill was the life of the party, playing the payaso for Berri’s girls, trying to show up the chicos in the kitchen, and practicing his pool sloth pose down. Chelsey and Ginger were troopers for their first time in a third world country. They all did the zip line at Mombacho, explored Granada, and uncovered hidden equestrian skills riding horses on the beach to Magnificent Rock, Rancho Santana, and back to Playa Guasacate. We ate, swam, boogie boarded, and watched for the nightly June bug freak-out.

Last Sunday we had 9 drop-in guests for dinner. They were a happy, conversational group who were very interested in our place.
We did the usual introductions and talked about the upcoming swell, as many in their group were surfers.
As dinner went on, I kept overhearing discussions about big waves, stand-up paddling, tow-ins, etc. One of the guys seemed very clear and knowledgeable. He looked familiar.
After dinner, as my wife was giving the group a tour of our place, I asked him his name again. He said “Garrett… Garrett McNamara , from the North Shore of Oahu”.
I knew it. I knew I had seen him before. In interviews, in magazines, about huge waves. I kept wanting to ask him more about that, but he kept asking about our food, and our resort, and our plans. He and his group left with promises of returning and “seeing me in the water”…
Two days later we watched from the cliff as Garrett dominated Popoyo’s Outer Reef left on a variety of surfboards, all the while looking as relaxed as he did at dinner.

Billy and the girls are now on their way back to the airport. While the days here in Las Salinas seem long, the visits from our family and friends go by too quickly. The resort is very quiet now. There’s an onshore wind and intermittent rain. The sky is various patches of gray. No birds are singing. No insects chirping. No cows, no horses making sounds. A brief, silent stillness. Acknowledging the end of a week of vibrant, living moments between humans who know and accept each other, and wanting nothing more for that day but each other’s company. It’s the Yin and the Yang. To have one, demands the other. I feel a bit lonely, but not alone.
I know every parent feels this tug every time they say goodbye to their son or daughter. No matter what age.
He has his life, and he has us, and we are always connected. No matter how far apart, or how long apart.

And it’s knowing what’s important…
When I asked Garrett if he was in town to surf the Outer Reef on the big hyped-up swell, he said, “I’m in town to visit family, and hopefully I can tow them into few good waves too.”

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