Locals: be nice!
This is a public service announcement. If you live near a wave, read on…
Especially in these weird times: Be nice!
Yesterday, I posted this on Instagram:
It’s been a while. For friends and family. For locals. It’s also been a while for strangers.
For anyone who lives near a wave, let’s try to be patient and open to travelling surfers. Corona is still around, but so are the anxieties and challenges that we all shrug off in the sea.
I left out why I felt the need to say it.
If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll already know how I feel about localism. And now that I live near a beach, I want to talk about it from a ‘local’ perspective.
What’s your excuse?
Last week, surfing at my local spot (before you jump on me, it’s been cleared by our government and I’ve only been out three times in 4 months) I got talking to a guy.
Turns out he’d driven for a few hours to get to the spot. But he wasn’t local. He wasn’t even a bit local! I filled up with a mix of weird emotions. Confusion, anger, intrigue… Why was he here, miles from home?
Before I asked another question he told me it was the first time he’d been able to get in the water for months.
And it was the first time he’d been out since his wife died 10 days ago.
In a split second, everything I’d been feeling was replaced by guilt.
Who am I to judge?
I’ve already been really open about how stupid I think localism is. But here I was, judging this guy because of where I live.
And am I really that judgemental? Does it really take someone’s death for me to “allow” good feelings about a travelling surfer?
Well, I’m glad to say it woke me up.
No matter what people are going through – the death of a close one, anxiety from social distancing or just the need for a lung full of sea air – they are just as deserving as time in the water as we are.
So next time you see someone you don’t recognise at your spot, ask yourself… what makes you more deserving than the next person to be out in the waves?